Elberta peaches: They’re the pastry chef’s manatees.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, writer and organic farmer David Mas Masumoto has introduced an adopt-a-peach-tree program ($500 each) for his small, prized orchard of Elberta peaches, an heirloom variety that’s easily bruised and damaged.

To protect the fruit from injury, Masumoto requires the adoptive parents, who receive regular updates on their peach babies, to drive out to his farm near Fresno, California (at least three hours from San Francisco or Los Angeles), and harvest all the peaches themselves: 400 to 500 pounds a tree. Needless to say, this works because chefs heart each and every fuzzy specimen: Craft in Century City is already planning an Elberta peach tasting menu.

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