August is national what month? It’s National Peach Month!
This post will offer 10 peachy facts about one of the summer’s most popular fruits. Then, we’ll explore other designated food holidays in the month of August!
August is National Peach Month
In June 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of August National Peach Month. Ever since growers and cooks have been celebrating this luscious summer fruit with festivals, cookoffs, sales, and other peachy activities.
We have a few peach trees here at Stony Ridge Farm. The fruits start to ripen in July for our varieties. Nationwide, shoppers can find fresh peaches from June through August.
To bring our seasonal living twist to National Peach Month this August, I’ve collected 10 of the best peachy facts and recipes to help you celebrate along with the rest of the country.
Enjoy! and let me know how it goes in the comments section below.
That’s an affiliate link.
Peaches, Prunus persica, grow on a deciduous tree that was originally native to China. Botanists say that peaches have been cultivated for 6,000 years. They came to European countries through Persia (modern-day Iran) and the word peach and persica are derivations of the word Persia.
It belongs to the rose family of plants and includes such fruits as almonds, apricots, cherries, and plums.
Peaches are a stone fruit, meaning they have a soft flesh that surrounds a stone-like seed. The above-mentioned apricots, cherries, and plums are also stone fruits.
There are 300 varieties of peaches grown in the United States and 2,000 varieties worldwide. (Reference here.)
Several states claim the peach as a state symbol. Many know that Georgia is the “Peach State’. Peaches are the official fruit of South Carolina and Alabama. The peach blossom is the official flower for the state of Deleware, and peach pie it’s official dessert.
Peaches make a statement!
3 classifications of peaches
Peaches come in three basic categories:
- Freestone, peaches where the meat of the fruit freely comes away from the stone or pit.
- Clingstone, or cling peaches, where the meat is attached to the stone.
- Semi-Freestone is a variety where the meat of the fruit is somewhat attached to the stone.
All 3 classifications can have either white or yellow flesh. White peaches are more tender and bruise more easily. Yellow peaches are perfect for longterm storage by freezing or canning.
How to select, store, and preserve peaches
Selecting peaches can be a challenge. Too often, peaches are either over or under-ripe at supermarkets and farm stands alike.
First, smell the peach. It should be fragrant. If there is no aroma, it’s under-ripe. Then, look it over. Color will not help you select a good peach as there are so many varieties ranging from white to dark yellow. Your peach should have good fuzz, no bruises, and no wrinkles. The perfect peach will be fragrant, fuzzy, and give to gentle pressure.
I believe that fruits should be stored on the countertop or processed for the refrigerator. If peaches are slightly under-ripe, definitely leave on the countertop and give them a sniff and a press to keep track of their ripening. If you would like to refrigerate your peaches, I recommend peeling and slicing and letting them rest in their own juices in the refrigerator for best flavor and texture.
Peaches can be quickly frozen or canned for longterm storage. There are recipes below to help you enjoy local August peaches come January. I also like to make a peach brandy, and I’ve added a recipe for that, too. Simply scan the round-up below to get started!
10 Peachy Facts and Recipes
Here's more useful information on selecting and storing peaches.
What's the difference between a peach and a nectarine? Well, the nectarine is older for one thing!
These safe, easy, and flavorful food preservation methods will keep you peachy all winter long!
Fermenting fruits brings out the full flavor of all the ingredients in the recipe. I really enjoy making this salsa and having it on hand when surprise guests stop by for a visit on the porch.
I like this peach brandy recipe. It is a basic cordial recipe that anyone can safely use to preserve summer produce. This brandy is not only excellent for sipping, but perfect over ice cream, and used to flavor dessert recipes.
Grilled peaches are a perfect summer side. They are great with grilled pork. In addition to the cinnamon in this recipe, feel free to spice up your grilled peaches with ginger. A light sprinkle of coarse sea salt is recommended no matter the flavoring you choose.
I love this stripped-down version of peach jam. This recipe is sure to bring nothing but peach goodness to anything from toast to ice cream!
Peaches are a low-glycemic fruit. That's good for all us concerned about changes in blood sugar level through the day.
Peach Festivals in 2019: Where, When and More to Find a Peach Festival Near You!
This quirky little site is actually loaded with excellent information on food preservation. Enjoy this list of peach festivals by state.
The very first dessert I baked was a peach cobbler with berries in my dad's castiron skillet. Here's a modern twist on an old favorite!
August Food Holidays and Celebrations
Living the seasonal life is so much fun! It brings a carnival of flavors and experiences into our kitchen that we might otherwise let slip by unnoticed.
August isn’t just for peaches! Check out these other holidays and celebrations full of the flavors of the final full month of summer.
- National Catfish Month celebrates the crop of US catfish farmers.
- National Water Quality Month, let’s celebrate this essential natural treasure.
- It’s National Goat Cheese Month! Not baaaad…
- National Sandwich Month helps us eat quick, easy and healthy!
- It’s also National Panini Month, so no sandwich feels forgotten.
- And, no month would be complete without a brownie. August is National Brownies at Brunch Month. I say grilled peaches, ice cream and these vegan brownies for brunch. Who needs eggs?
August Garden Tips
Regardless of whether you have peach trees or not, August gardens have needs! Be sure to click the image below to review my August garden tips. They’ll help you get ready for your fall and winter harvests.
The Kitchen Garden Planner and Journal
Organize your kitchen garden, season by season, month by month, and project by project with this handy Kitchen Garden Planner and Journal! It comes with lifetime access to printable worksheets and journal pages, and membership in the Stony Ridge Farm seasonal living community.
This planner comes with instructions on how to tackle the following tasks and use our worksheets to:
– Design your vegetable and flower gardens
– Track plant selections and how successful they are in your garden
– Document soil amendments and pest control strategies
– Garden budgeting, tracking projections and actual expenses
– Seasonal and monthly planner calendars
– Garden journal pages
Quick Guide to 6 End-of-Summer Food Preservation Techniques
The Quick Guide to 6 End of Summer Food Preservation Techniques with Recipes from Lorrie Season and Stony Ridge Farm is a 14 page eBook with 6 DIY kitchen projects to preserve the best of summer flavors for winter meals. It is a seasonal living must-have resource.
The Quick Guide to End of Summer Food Preservation includes 6 recipes using each of the basic techniques described The Traditional Methods of Food Preservation post. Lorrie Season is a learn-by-doing resource. The best way to practice traditional food preservation is to begin using the techniques at the end of summer when food is so plentiful and affordable using these safe and simple techniques. Get the eBook and use the recipes to learn how to:
- Acidify with Vinegar
- Use Oil
- Make Alcoholic Cordials
You’ve worked hard all summer in your garden, with your farm share, and managing all those farmers market hauls! Now, make sure you get to enjoy the results with these simple and safe food preservation techniques!
Let’s Get Social!
If you enjoy seeing life through the lens of the changing seasons, I invite you to stay connected. This is a community of activist-oriented gardeners, cooks, and nature lovers.
If you want a loving community to be a part of your seasonal life, please do anyone (or ALL!) of the following:
- Sign up for the newsletter and get my herbal teas and tisanes recipe book for FREE! Tea is always a welcome addition to any time in the kitchen.
- Join our FREE Facebook group where we’re always talking gardens and kitchens.
- Follow me on Instagram and watch the seasons unfold on my 5-acre homestead in Harpers Ferry, WV.