“We should think about thinning the baby pears on the pear tree,” I said to Eric this evening as we were making French vanilla ice cream (our first try at a custard-based ice cream). “I don’t know if you’ve noticed,  but pollination was obviously very good, but we don’t want a ton of tiny ones like we had last year. Also, I’m worried that the peach tree hasn’t bloomed yet.”

“Maybe it’s not time yet,” he replied. “When did it bloom last year?”

“I don’t know. I’ll look it up later, I know I took a picture.” So I did. “Late April,” I reported, while the ice cream mixture was cooling before being put in the fridge to chill.

“Oh. Um…but it’s still early May! Or mid May. Mid.”

I started looking online for clues.  Wikipedia mentioned that peach buds can be killed starting at around -15 degrees C. “How cold did it get this spring?” I asked Eric. Before long, I came upon this article, which starts out, “Think it’s cold out there? Try sitting naked in a pile of sticks stuck in a tree. Better yet, be glad you’re not an Ohio peach. They’re as good as dead this year.”

I read this to Eric, who said, “Dammit,” which was exactly what I was thinking. I wonder what price peaches will be at the farmer’s market this year. I was planning on buying peaches this summer anyway, since our tree isn’t nearly big enough to give us as many as we’ll want; but I wonder what the supply will be like, and if I’ll have to get up early in the summer to get any. I wonder if plum trees are as sensitive to freezes as peaches are. Pears obviously aren’t, and I think apples aren’t either.

Incidentally, I went to the market today (looking for rosemary and lavender plants) and found that some people are selling tomatoes at summer prices–I don’t know if they’re imported or hothouse or what, but if I’d found anybody selling parsley we might have had some out-of-season tabbouleh for dinner tonight instead of leftovers.