Heirloom Seeds: Vine Peach, a historical fruit for the garden

My garden always has several unique crops, usually heirloom seeds that were popular many years ago and that have a history. It adds fun to the garden to try these new crops plus sometimes you find a great crop that adds to your kitchen table or crafting projects. Kiwi Fruit
photo credit: Jonathan Shield

Several years ago I heard of the “Vine Peach.” It’s a seed that is more difficult to find. Heirloom seed catalogs and specialty seed catalogs carry it.  What attracted me to this seed was the fact it was a fruit you could grow annually in your back yard and that it had an interesting background. So… I had to find the seed and grow it in my garden. I did manage to track a package of seeds down and since that time I have harvested the seeds at the end of the season for future crops.

Originally this fruit grew wild across most of the United States. As growth and development began the vine peach started to disappear. It was a favorite of the American Indian and with the rich heritage of numerous Indian cultures in our area I wanted to try this crop.

The peach vine looks a lot like a cucumber plant when it is young and has a lot of the same growing characteristics. It need warm nights to grow successfully and should be planted after the last frost warnings in you area has passed. I grow my vine peaches on a trellis. I find the crop grows better vertical and it saves room in the garden. For color I usually add a few scarlet runner beans to the area.

The fruit could be compared to a cantaloupe but it is much smaller and has a very mellow taste. I found that is was perfect for jams and jellies. It’s a crop that I don’t grow every year but when I do it’s a great addition to the garden,

20 Comments

  1. Do you have a recipe that you would be willing to share for the use of the Vine Peach? Have you used them in pies? Thanks

  2. I usually use the peachvine in jams or jelliy recipes or cut up in a fresh fruit salad. But I found these two recipes on Zedda.

    VINE PEACH CAKE

    INGREDIENTS
    4 eggs
    150g sugar
    6 vine peaches
    225g flour
    5g baking powder
    150g cooled
    melted butter
    1dl full fatmilk

    Make the cake. Mix the flour and the baking
    powder. Add the milk, eggs, the sugar and the melted
    butter. Mix well. Skin the vine peaches, remove the stones
    and dice. Throw into the mixture and mix in well.
    Grease and flour a loaf tin. Tip the mixture into the tin
    and bake it at 180°C for 60 minutes.

    ******************

    PEACH CREAM PIE

    6 ripe peaches peeled and sliced into small wedges
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    1 – 9 inch deep dish unbake pie crust shell
    3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
    3/4 cup of whip cream

    In a bowl combine sugar, salt, flour and stir in the cream until smooth. Place and layer your sliced peaches in the unbaked pie crust. Pour over the mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling has set. Serve warm or cold and refrigerate leftovers.

    There are many things to do with peaches. Cut chunks up and put them into some of your refreshing drinks alcohol or non-alcohol. Cut chunks and put with other fruits like pineapples on sticks and grill them

    Hope this helps. The peach vine is fun to grow, Denise

  3. If you have a print catalog, I would greatly appreciate one.
    Thank you very much.
    Margaret

  4. I’m sorry maragret, I don’t have a catalog but if there is certain information you are looking for I would be happy to help you find it. Denise

  5. I found vine peach seeds in the Burpee catalog in their heirloom seed section. Mine are growing fine, and I’ll be sure to use the recipes. here.

  6. We grew some vine peach this summer and are wondering how to store them? Should they be purreed and put in the freezer, frozen whole, left in the celler, put in refrigerator, canned? There are to many to deal with at once and all the other crops are coming in at the same time. Would also like jam, jelly or other recipes. Would I just substitute them for other fruits in pies, breads etc?

  7. They make great jams and jellies. I think I have a article that has a link to a recipe on the site. Let me check.

    They can well. I usually add a little fruit juice to the canning to give the fruit extra flavor. Orange juice and raspberry are my favorites to add.

    They work great in breads and pies. Just substitute the fruit for the fruit listed in the recipe.

    I have frozen them sliced and pureed. I have also dried them.

    They do not hold for long in the refrigerator. denise

  8. Denise,
    We also have a bunch of vine peaches and were wondering what to do with them! How do I prepare them for freezing. Do you have a great recipe to share for making jams or jellies. You mentioned a recipe link, did you ever find it? I would appreciate any info you can share.

  9. Ronnie

    I found these two recipes on Zedda.

    VINE PEACH CAKE
    INGREDIENTS
    4 eggs
    150g sugar
    6 vine peaches
    225g flour
    5g baking powder
    150g cooled
    melted butter
    1dl full fatmilk

    Make the cake. Mix the flour and the baking
    powder. Add the milk, eggs, the sugar and the melted
    butter. Mix well. Skin the vine peaches, remove the stones
    and dice. Throw into the mixture and mix in well.
    Grease and flour a loaf tin. Tip the mixture into the tin
    and bake it at 180°C for 60 minutes.
    ******************
    PEACH CREAM PIE
    6 ripe peaches peeled and sliced into small wedges
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    1 – 9 inch deep dish unbaked pie crust shell
    3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
    3/4 cup of whip cream

    In a bowl combine sugar, salt, flour and stir in the cream until smooth. Place and layer your sliced peaches in the unbaked pie crust. Pour over the mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling has set. Serve warm or cold and refrigerate leftovers.

    There are many things to do with peaches. Cut chunks up and put them into some of your refreshing drinks alcohol or non-alcohol. Cut chunks and put with other fruits like pineapples on sticks and grill them

    Still looking for the vine peach jam or jelly recipe, but you can use it like any other fruit, same amount of crushed fruit. (Usually 2 to 4 cups) I like to add raspberry or pineapple to the fruit to give it more taste. They will also add more natural pectin the the recipe which helps it to set better.

    Hope this helps. The peach vine is fun to grow, Denise

  10. Does anyone have any other recipes I can use these cantaloupe for ? Like chicken or Pork??I may try to make my own. I’ll share it if it’s good. Lori

  11. How do you tell when the vine peaches are ripe and ready to harvest?

  12. I live in a zone five so my results may be different than yours. The peach vine fruit is usually ready in august. Color and feel will help you determine when they are ready. I can also tell by the vine. When it starts to look a little tired I know the fruit is beginning to ripen.

    Pick one that has more color and a little softer. Try tasting it or cutting it.

    Peach vine makes a great jam. Some make a relish or hot salsa with it too. I like it in fruit salads.

  13. I am growing vine peaches for the first time this year. I received seeds as bonus with order from a catalog. Had never heard of this fruit. Thanks for all recipes and tips, as I had no idea of what to do with them, how to tell when they were ripe, etc. I am looking forward to harvesting them.

  14. Its a fun fruit to grow. I always like to try a new seed in the garden each year. Denise

  15. I’ve grown vine peaches for two years now. Interesting little melons, but I’ve not tried to do anything with em. Would love to have a recipe for jelly or preserves. Mainly because I have a big crop of volunteers this year and they’re beginning to ripen.

  16. Does anyone have a jelly recipe for the vine peach. Certain ones say they make jam and jelly. I would appreciate a recipe.

    Gayle

  17. The fruit does not get as soft as a peach. It has more of a melon texture

  18. You can use any recipe for fruit to make a jelly from the vine peach. I found that its best to add another fruit to the jelly recipe just to give it more flavor. You can also make a variety of different jellies if you do this. My favorite mixes are vine peach raspberry and vine peach orange. (the orange is just a few table spoons of orange juice added to the jelly mix)

  19. We are growing vine peaches for the first time this year. How do you know when they are ready to pick?

  20. They need to be a little soft and the skin will peel off. 80 to 90m days in my zone 5 and they are ready to pick.

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