With their soft, fuzzy skins and sweet fragrance, peaches deserve gentle handling. You don’t need to treat them with kid gloves, but remember that one big bump will cause those juicy peaches to bruise. Because Ela’s peaches are ripened on the tree (as evidenced by the telltale yellow, not greenish, skin color), they are highly perishable and should be used within a few days. Peaches are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure; you’ll know because they will smell delicious!
If you want peaches to last longer, store them in a cold spot in the refrigerator and take them out as needed. Once ripe, they should last three days if kept in refrigeration. If your peaches need a bit more softening, store them in a paper bag on the counter (out of the sun) and check daily. To speed up the process, add an apple or ripe banana.
To use your peaches long after harvest, consider freezing or canning them. For tips on freezing, consult this excellent resource from the Universityof Georgia Cooperative Extension Service: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_freeze_fruit.pdf. For canning advice, please refer to this online publication from the Colorado State University Extension: www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09347.html.