Are you getting tired of the canning posts? I hope not because there’s more to come over the next little while.
Today, I’m going to share two lessons I learned from this past weekend.
Saturday morning, I decided I needed to get out of the house and away from home for a bit, so we drove over to the Collinsville Trade Day, in Collinsville, AL. It’s a huge flea market that you could spend all day walking around and still not see everything. But the main thing we go there for are the fruits and vegetables.
It was on the way home from the Trade Day that we came across Mr. Farmer selling corn from the back of his truck (see my last post.) I usually spend time asking about where and how things are grown but the farmer volunteered the information before I even asked and we chatted more as he counted out our corn.
I wish I had taken the time to do that with the vendors selling peaches at the Trade Day. The hand written sign on the booth said Home Grown Peaches. We were given samples to try and the peaches were lovely and sweet.
Large baskets were priced at $4 each. I selected five of what I thought were the best looking baskets and paid for them. As we were about to transfer the peaches from the baskets (baskets are for display only) to the cloth bags we always carry with us, the vendor asked if we’d prefer a box for them.
He brought out a box with Southern Peaches printed on the top and sides. It was then I realized that these peaches might not be home grown after all. But I’d already paid for them so it was too late to ask the questions I should have asked instead of trusting to the hand written sign.
Sure enough this morning when I was washing them before peeling, some of them had stickers on them. They were locally grown, but not necessarily by the people who were selling them.
Lesson #1 is a lesson re-learned. Always talk to the vendors and ask questions about where and how the produce is grown.
Now for the second lesson of the weekend; as you already know, we also bought corn on Saturday. Corn needs to be processed the same day it’s picked or purchased because the sugars start to break down soon after harvesting. So the corn got frozen and canned.
This meant that the peaches had to wait. I wasn’t concerned about the delay because I’ve bought peaches before and then waited a day or two to can them without a problem. But when I opened the box this morning, several peaches had already started to mold. Three were completely rotten and another 10 or so we had to trim away bad spots.
Lesson #2… when buying peaches in the South plan to process them the day we buy them or find room for them in the fridge.