Tubby Fruits, owned by Mark & Helen Angermayer, is a small operation specializing in fresh-picked, tree-ripened peaches and cane-ripened blackberries. All our fruits are locally grown and picked right here in Stilwell, KS, or our new orchard in Belton MO (located 3 miles Northeast of the well-known Berry Patch).
Following is a page from our Website that explains a little bit about our fruit:
Ever wonder why peaches from the store don't taste very good? The answer is actually pretty simple. They are picked too early. It's not that farmers want to pick them early; it's that they are forced to. If peaches destined for the grocery store were picked ripe, they would be mush by the time they were picked, sorted, packed, trucked to a wholesaler, trucked to a retailer, and put on the shelves (This is also true for blackberries.) They just spend too much time in the distribution chain to be picked ripe. Additionally, grocery store peaches need to be picked "rock hard" to withstand the rigors of stacking, trucking, and handling by grocery store personnel and customers. Peaches picked anywhere close to peak ripeness bruise too easily and will not tolerate modern shipping and handling practices. So, most wholesale peach growers have to pick them early and green to get a decent looking fruit on the store shelves. Unfortunately, peaches picked this early won't develop the sugars to make them truly sweet. Too many times they end up dry and mealy. Yuck!
Fortunately, we don't have to deal with those issues at Tubby Fruits. We can leave our peaches on the trees as long as we want. We don't stack peaches, so we don't have to be as concerned about bruising. We don't have to truck peaches the way wholesalers do, so we don't have the issues with spoilage. This enables us to pick our peaches at near peak ripeness. Many times the peaches you buy from us are picked that very day! The difference is huge!
We also manage our orchard differently. First, we use natural compost materials (leaves, grass, wood chips) to fertilize our trees. We rarely have need to use any synthetic fertilizers. Instead we individually place natural fertilizer around the trees. This composting medium forms a healthy humus for the trees which smells rich and fertile. We also run what's called a "dry" orchard. This means, except for emergencies, we don't irrigate our fruiting trees and plants. Irrigating increases yield but frequently leaves the fruit with an artificial "watered down" flavor (not as sweet). We choose to forgo the extra production from irrigating, in favor of fruit that are dessert quality.
We are also able to harvest with special care unique to our small orchard. As mentioned, we never pick fruit two weeks early, as is common in the industry. We strive to pick our peaches anywhere from peak ripeness to firm ripe (which is close to peak ripeness, but still crunchy). Peak ripe peaches are soft, juicy and ready to eat immediately. Firm ripe peaches need to sit on the counter from 1 to 3 days before they are soft and ready to eat. Firm ripe peaches allowed to sit on the counter until soft are indistinguishable from peaches picked at peak ripeness. For pies, cobblers, and canning, peaches still a little firm work best.
Because we pick peaches tree ripe, they require special handling that is simply not practical in the industry. Tree ripe peaches bruise easily, so we never stack them. We pick them gently and place them carefully only one layer deep in boxes. They are then taken inside and (again gently) placed on tables to be sorted and placed one level deep in the smaller boxes in which they are sold. Through the whole process these peaches are treated as gently as babies. We truly strive to sell the very best peaches we can. Our blackberries are treated the same way, except that they are much lighter in weight and can be stacked in small containers, even though they are picked cane-ripened.
One other thing we do differently is focus on flavor. What that means is if a variety doesn't meet our expectation for flavor, we remove it. When we have our first harvest of a variety, our family taste tests the fruit. If they don't think it's outstanding, we pull that variety out and try a different one in its place. It's very rare for a commercial operation to manage its orchard this way. It's more common for large commercial operations to plant varieties that have the most production, or varieties that are the easiest to grow. Because we focus on flavor, we do it differently.
We sell at roadside, from our home, and at the Spring Hill farmer's market on Saturdays. Please call or email ahead, so we can have your order picked and ready for you when you arrive.
Thanks, Mark Angermayer
Spring Hill Farmer's Market. Saturdays 7:30-12:00.
Occasionally, we sell at roadside and set up near the intersection of 199th and Metcalf (which is just 3 blocks from our Stilwell orchard). There are other vendors who sell near this location, so if you want our tree-ripened peaches, make sure you ask for Tubby Fruits. You can recognize us by our sign which says, "Local Peaches". We also sell a significant amount of our fruit from our house. Please don't hesitate to give us a call/email.
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Bought some of their peaches last year at the Spring Hill Market and they were WONDERFUL. I can't buy peaches at the store because I won't eat them as they don't have much flavor/juice. These do and were delicious!!!