Cling peaches. Freestone fruit. What do those words mean?
If you have ever bit into a sweet, juicy peach or nectarine, you may have discovered that the fruit practically fell away from the pit as you neared the center. Or, you may have had to fight for every morsel, leaving behind a ragged, fruit-covered pit.
When the fruit comes away from the pit easily, it is called freestone.
When the fruit clings to the pit, it is, you guessed it, a cling variety.
Freestone fruits tend to be more firm than clingstones. This makes them better suited for canning. The clingstone varieties are best for fresh eating, though you can certainly can them, or turn them into a delicious jam or chutney!
Clingstones are generally harvested May through August, while freestone varieties are harvested May through October.
If you are going to plant a peach or nectarine tree, take the time to decide which type you want before you plant. Of course, biting into a fresh, sweet peach or nectarine, you won’t care if it’s a freestone or a cling!
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!