Bynum Picks a Peck of Peaches
"My heart is always in the farm," says Danny Bynum, owner of Bynum Peach Farm and Nursery near Jackson Springs. "Maybe it's because my daddy used to be a supervisor at the Windblow Research Station, and that's where I got interested in peach trees."
And perhaps it's because Bynum takes vacation from his regular job to pick peaches for about one month. Bynum also sells his peaches to several roadside stands. Some of the more popular peach varieties are Candor, Carymac, and Troy.
A railroad man by occupation, Bynum would like to call his agricultural endeavors his profession. "Granddaddy purchased the farm in 1922," says Bynum. "He grew peaches in the 1930s and 1940s. Then my daddy took over, and now I take care of the business."
Bynum currently has 3,000 trees.
Bynum says that he cares for 30 acres of peaches which he started in 1988 and built up.
"With the help of my family, we get the job done," says Bynum. "You don't find families helping much anymore, but my family pitches in after their regular day jobs and on Saturdays and Sundays."
Budding and grafting are a major part of the tree business. The farm specializes not only in peach trees, but plum and nectarine trees as well.
"In the winter, about December, January and February, we sell the trees," says Bynum.
When Bynum went to the research station he became interested in budding and grafting.
"I even have groups of school kids and college students come to the farm so I can show them how the process is done," he says.
Located on Gallimore Road, named after the Gallimore family, who also grew peaches, the farm has taken over another orchard.
"The family was not able to continue the peach business," says Bynum, "so I leased the peaches grown on the property plus added my own for the public."
Bynum offers Contender peaches of the freestone peach variety around the beginning of July.
"They're a wee bit sweeter with a yellowish tint on the skin," he says. "And they don't turn dark You don't have to use fruit freshener. Just put them in the freezer, and they will still be yellow when you take them out."
Following the Contender peaches, the Cresthaven peach, also a freestone peach, is offered.
"They have a reddish color on the skin," says Bynum. "It's a prettier peach, but you have to use them with fruit freshener. Mainly all of our peaches are offered this time of year through August with a few redskin peaches after that."
The trees are another area of expertise for Bynum.
"I sell trees to a lot of people," he says. Bynum explains that he plants the tree seeds in October.
"Some of the seeds I purchase from Tennessee, the biggest nursery state," he says. with smile. "It's almost like they don't want to get trees from their state, but would rather buy them from me here in North Carolina."
Bynum learned the process of grafting on peach rootstock.
"I can grow a plum tree by starting it on a peach tree," he says. "The process is simple. I begin with a peach kernel or seed in October. The following June when the seed has grown two feet tall, it is ready to be 'budded.'
"June budding takes place when you take a bud off the adult tree and graft it into the rootstock.
"So I take a plum bud and graft it into peach stock, and eventually I'll have a plum tree from the bud up while the rootstock remains a peach," she says.
Bynum suggested that if anyone wishes to see the process, to visit the Internet where budding and grafting of trees is readily observable.
"Or you can come out to the farm, and I'll show you how it's done," he says.
"I am here every season until all of my peaches are gone," "says Bynum, "which is sometime during the month of August. Then I sell my trees during the winter months starting in December and going through March. The earlier you set out a tree, the better chance it has for survival. In December when the tree is in dormancy, it is preferable to plant it than in March when growth has already begun."
Bynum plans on running his farm as long as he can.
"I love the farm," he says. "And my heart is here all the time."
Bynum Peach Farm and Nursery is located on N.C. 73, after the crossroads at Windblow, right past the research station. The hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Bynum can be reached at 652-2204.
Anita Stone, a Raleigh freelance writer and master gardener, may be reached at email@example.com.
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