The hot time of the year has descended upon us, along with a good crop of peaches from both the tree near the house and the smaller one down the orchard. Peach pies are the order of the day as I have to deal with the glut.  Each summer, I make a batch or two of peach pies for the freezer so we can enjoy the ultimate delight of summer in the middle of winter.  Here’s the story for today after I made a double batch of pastry that was cooling down and relaxing in the fridge …..  This recipe will be included in my upcoming EBook.

This cultivar is “J J Hale” or the “Million Dollar Peach”.  I have seen both names interchanged on this delicious peach.  The fruits are huge.

I have to harvest some for peach pies today.  With home grown fruit, the great benefit is you get to harvest when they are ripe.  Stone fruit do not ripen off the tree so picking these at their peak is crucial.  How can you tell if the peaches are ready to harvest?  Simple in reality.  Cup the peach like this and gently lift it upwards.  If the peach is ready to be harvested, it will break away from the branch and fall into your hand.


These peaches are huge.  I weighed one to see roughly how much it weighs and I was very pleased with this result because this particular tree near the house has tapped into an underground water source to ensure large sized fruits.  I know there is a water source here because I am a water diviner and can feel the pressure of the water in my chest – always an excellent indication of water underground.  Of course, I do have copper divining rods and these confirm the presence of water.

I made a couple of batches of pastry the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight to allow the gluten to stretch.

I chunked up the peaches and added only 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to each kilogram of fruit.  The pie dish was lined with pastry and I placed the fruit inside and added a final pastry layer on top.

Into the oven for around 50 minutes.  The peach pie scent wafted throughout the house on baking day.  I made several pies and placed most in the freezer so we can enjoy these in the middle of winter when summer days are just a memory.


I had some leftover pastry so I made an open peach tart, much like my ancestors did back home in Europe.  I love this rustic style tart.


Bertie was lucky enough to score bruised peaches.  This sheep gobbles up fruits which is why when I take her into the orchard, I have to put Bertie on a leash in order to stop her stripping the fruit off the trees.  I’d say Bertie is one lucky pet sheep.


  1. My dogs have just issued your sheep an invitation supported by the mowers of the lawn at our place Sheep is most welcome to provide diversionary therapy for one ball-obsessed dog. I’d also have to say that my husabdn has an aversion to the lawn mower as well xx Rowena


    1. Hi there Rowena, I am still working out this blog thing as I am new to it all. I just found your message here. I’m glad you enjoy Bertie. I will be introducing Bertie’s full name in a blog fairly soon. She is scamp with a sense of humour and is very naughty at times in the garden. She can strip a rose bush of all the perfumed roses within a couple of minutes! Thank you for stopping by Rowena! jane 🙂

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      1. Hi Jane,
        She sounds fabulous. My husband comes from Scottsdale in Tasmania and they had a pet sheep for a short time until it started knocking him over to get his bottle of milk. I could just imagine a sheep eating the roses and turning pink! Have you ever been to Hans Heysen’s house and seen his rose bushes? I went there about 2 years ago and photographed a stunning yellow rose. His daughter was quite a painter of flowers.
        My daughter is quite interested in gardening but I seem to kill everything through absent-minded neglect. I am hoping she will do more of our gardening and save my soul. I hate to think what happens to plant killers in the after life! xx Rowena

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  2. Hi Rowena, Bertie is definitely not your average sheep. She behaves a lot like a dog because she was brought up around cats, dogs and poultry you see. I think Bertie regards us as part of the flock. Yes, lambs are very pushy about their milk. Bertie used to push her way in through the doggie door when she was a “pup”, following the dogs into the house. She would end up in the kitchen, bleating for her 2 hourly feed. I have not been up to Hans Heysen’s place. I intend to visit in March before we move from here back to Victoria. I want to dodge the holiday crowds up there at the moment. I have gardened all my life. My parents did this to help get us out of grinding poverty as they were poor immigrants after the war. Growing food is part of my ancestral heritage. I am finishing up a small book with some summer recipes from my ancestors and hope to publish it in the coming months of this year. I have modernised some of them and have included bits and pieces of family stories to go with the food. Just hang in there with the gardening Rowena. Just remember to select suitable plants for your climate and to water them. I used to write a gardening segment in a Geelong newspaper and I think I will rewrite them into this blog to help people out. Have a lovely day! jane 🙂


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