This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This is the eleventh day of July, and the last of Hale's Early is just gathered. The season seems to be about four weeks earlier than is usual. The whole list of early peaches known to the public, so far as fruited in Kansas this year, is surpassed in both earliness and size by at least fifty new seedlings of Kansas origin, many of which have borne their first fruit this year. It would be an arduous task, and would take too much space to give anything like detailed statements of those which I have seen. If I were to tell of all those heard from, it would be much more tedious; I will simply state concerning a few, leaving out details. It will also save space to say that all of these new seedlings are in shape, size and quality very much like Alexander, and either known, or supposed to be seedlings of Hale's Early.
On my own farm, in a neglected Peach nursery let grow for fuel, were about twenty seedlings that bore this year for the first time, and all ripening, good sound specimens on June 13th. The trees had not been cultivated for two years, and were crowded and shaded so badly that the fruit could not possibly attain its perfection. Specimens from these trees measured seven and a quarter inches. Alexander, three rods distant, on same kind of soil and with better care, did not exceed six inches in circumference. A friend, living two miles distant, had ten seedling trees in his orchard that bore their second crop this year, of like character with mine. C. C. Kelsey, of Humboldt, wrote me that he had five seedling trees of the same description of fruit, bearing this year for the first. Simon Bucher, twelve miles south-east from Emporia, has also found among his nursery seedlings some twenty-five trees, all of like character. Mrs. Louisa Burns, near Emporia, has one seedling-tree much like the rest.
Geo. L. Kroh, of Wyandotte County, has a new seedling ripe June 20th. I could give the names of a dozen more persons originating from one to three trees of a similar character, the fruit of which I have seen or heard of upon good authority. As to the well-known early Peaches, it seems hardly worth while to mention them, only for comparison, except the Alexander. This variety is the best and earliest of those generally disseminated and fruited. Wilder, Saunders, Downing and Musser have not yet fruited. Amsden proves generally small and so very inferior in flavor that we deem it no longer worthy of propagation. It did not ripen here until June 20th, which was some five days later than Alexander. Early Beatrice, ripe June 25th. A good little Peach that will bear shipping well, but too small and late to be worth planting where we have so many better newer sorts. Early Louise was ripe June 30th. Rich in quality, but too soft and dull-colored to meet with favor except at home. Hale's Early have nearly all rotted because of the wet weather. It is a favorable sign for these new seedlings that but few of them seem liable to rot, as does their parent the Hale's. We propose to give these seedlings a chance to show what they are, and we really expect something better than is now propagated.
Some few are named, but the number is so large and increasing so fast that it seems probable that it is yet hardly best to name and disseminate. In a few years we will perhaps have seedlings from these early kinds that will surpass what we now have.
It seems a strange thing that all at once, in so many places, there should spring up so many extremely early Peaches. But Kansas far out-reaches all other States in both number and season.