The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, learned peach cultivation from the Hopi in the eighteenth century. Navajos plant volunteer seedlings and seeds. Slip planting, grafting, budding, pruning living branches, and fruit thinning, which had no precedents in Navajo agriculture, were rejected. Navajos protect their orchards against mammalian pests, and now practice spring spraying. The present orchards are located on alluvial terraces receiving runoff from cliffs and small tributary drainages; irrigation is occasionally practised. Peaches are eaten fresh, boiled, or dried and stewed, and are used as a ceremonial purgative. Kernels are used in polishing stone griddles and in witchcraft.
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