Time of Year
Peaches ripen at different times in various areas. In some areas, peaches will ripen in early May and June, while in others they will ripen in July and August. Know the specific time in your area, and shop for them accordingly.
It is best that you select your peaches from a farm and in order to do that, make sure that you arrive early at the venue. Peaches go quick so make sure that you reach on time in order to pick out the best ones available. It is a good idea to take your own containers that are not too deep, to put the peaches in. Stacking too many on top of each other can damage the fruit. Ideally, these are collected from trees but the option may not always be available and you may need to select these from the crates in which they are placed.
Attached to the Tree
If the peach is attached to the tree, a ripe peach should easily be separated from the stem. If more force is needed, it means that there is still some time needed for that particular peach to ripen.
Regardless of whether you buy already picked peaches, or pick your own, you need to remember that colour is a prime indicator of whether a peach is ripe or not. Green peaches are not considered ripe, yellow varieties with a bit of orange in them are usually sweet and sour, while the deep orange and red ones are fully ripe.
The fragrance of ripe peaches is quite distinct and has a certain sweetness to it, which is almost flowery. The fragrance is an appealing one, and you are bound to like it immediately.
Ripe peaches are firm but slightly soft when gently pressed; however, this may not be so in some varieties that are hard by nature. When peaches reach this point, they are considered fully ripe. These can be eaten as they are, in addition to being baked or frozen.