When we bought our house 3 years ago, we inherited the fruit trees that were on the property. Two apples, and a scrawny, pathetic peach. Within two weeks of having possession, while in the thick of massive interior renovations, the peach tree ripened and needed to be harvest. It was the first time in my life I had ever picked fruit right off a tree. I could hardly believe that those peaches were actually safe to consume-- the idea felt so novel to me. Because we had literally just moved into our home, we were not at all prepared for the 200 lbs of fruit that (quite literally) fell into our laps, but were able to make fast friends with our new neighbours by giving away our bounty.
In the years following, we have slowly gotten better and better with anticipating and preparing for our peaches. We have, what I now know is considered a "late peach tree"-- meaning, it's ready in early September, vs early August like many other types. This year is the first year that we pruned or generally took care of the tree in any way, and the tree rewarded us with the biggest, juiciest fruit we've seen since we moved in.
I am asked all the time what we do with our peaches when we harvest them, and the truth is--- not much. I am not a canner or a preserver. And I have found that these peaches, when frozen, thaw out into a formless ooze which is useless in baking. No, none of the preserving stuff is really for me. Instead, I prefer to do what we have done since our first year here-- give the fruit away to grateful neighbours & friends. I love dropping off a basket of peaches to a friendly neighbour, & enjoying a little chat about how nice the peaches are this year, and how their own gardens are doing. Giving away our peaches has become something of an annual tradition, & makes me feel connected to our community & neighbours, which makes all the worst of pruning, thinning, and harvesting the tree very well worth it.