This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The peach seems to have been unusually complimented by the Horticultural societies this season, the Kentucky society, as well as some others, having given it the post of honor in their proceedings. Hon. W. J. Lee read a paper on the subject. In regard to varieties, he said:
"The selection should depend upon the situation of the grower. Select sorts to make a complete succession through the whole season. Plant lightly of Amsden June, Early Beatrice, Early Louise, Early Rivers, Early Baltimore, etc. Plant a few Hale and Tillotson, but plant largely of Troth's Early, Large Early, York, George IV., Oldmixon Free, Rodman's Red Cling, Oldmixon Cling, Ward's Late Free, Grand Admirable, Smock's Late Free, and Heath".
In regard to picking and packing, he said: " One may have followed all the directions previously given, and may have grown very fine peaches, and yet lose money by picking at an improper stage of ripeness and bad packing. If a man has any taste about him, he has a good chance to show it in picking and packing peaches. Picking and packing peaches is a business to be learned, and a man has to serve a trade at it before he can be an expert in it. All the specimens on a tree do not ripen at the same time, and it frequently happens that you have to make as many as ten pickings from the same tree, but usually five or six will answer. In handling a crop of 5,000 boxes of peaches, every peach should be picked as near the same stage of ripeness as possible: this stage may be known by the green side changing to white in white peaches and to pale red in red peaches. A peach receives its color and flavor about forty-eight hours before it softens, and should be picked as soon as it has reached this stage.
Peaches should be handled very carefully in picking.
" The directions I shall here give are for packing in boxes. Peaches should be packed in new boxes, made neat and strong. Each shipper should have a numbered stencil, by which his fruit may be known in the market, and for convenience of separating lots in the commission house. Every box should be stenciled before it is filled, as you are less liable to overlook one. Should you fail to stencil a box it would be apt to be lost in shipping, or should it get through, the commission merchant would not know to whom it belonged. I consider packing the most particular thing in peach culture. To do good packing it is necessary to have proper fixtures".