The local peach growing season typically runs from mid-May through August.
Nothing says summer quite like roadside stands filled with fresh fruits and vegetables – watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and of course – fresh, juicy peaches!
We know that this area of the world, especially around Fredericksburg and Stonewall, is a prime location for these fuzzy little fruits, but what exactly is it that makes the Texas hill country the ideal spot to grow these oh-so-sweet peaches? Well, as it turns out, the area around Gillespie County has just the right combination of conditions to create the perfect peach – hot summers, cold – but not overly cold – winters, just the right day to night temperature variation and limestone-rich soil that is full of micronutrients and minerals.
German settlers brought peach seeds with them and planted the first peach trees in this area in the early 1800s. Peaches are actually native to China, but quickly took off in our local climate and soil conditions.
Years ago, this area was known for growing not peaches, but peanuts! Then around the 1950s, the area farmers needed a new crop to focus their efforts on as peanuts became hard to grow, and harder to make a profit on. Local farmers took note of how well their peach trees performed and shifted their focus. Today, peaches are the leading deciduous fruit crop in Texas. In Gillespie County alone there are some 600 acres of peach trees!
Don’t Miss the 62nd Annual Stonewall Peach Jamboree & Rodeo June 15th-17th
Placing peaches on the grill has a way of intensifying their natural sweetness.
Cut the peaches in half, de-pit them and place on the grill at low to medium heat for the perfect summer treat. Keep it simple with only fresh peaches and little bit of olive oil, or take it up a notch and create a mixture of butter, cinnamon and sugar.
Fun Tip: For some salty-sweet goodness, sprinkle your grilled peaches with specialty salt from the Texas Salt Co. They offer a Peachwood salt that would pair perfectly, or add some spice with one of their smoked salts with heat, like the Habanero Smoked Salt.
FRESH PEACH DUMP CAKE
Everybody loves a peach cobbler, but why not try something a bit different. This dessert is not only delicious, but couldn’t be easier!
4 cups fresh peaches – peeled and cut
¼ cup water
1 box of yellow cake mix
1/3 cup of sugar
¾ cup of butter – sliced thin
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Peel and cut the peaches and place in a bowl with the sugar for around 20 minutes
3. Add in the water
4. In a 9×13 baking pan, pour the peach mixture and sprinkle the yellow cake mix over the top.
5. Place the slices of butter evenly over the cake mix
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown.
Allow the dessert to cool and serve up with ice cream or whipped cream – whichever you prefer!