Know Your Nomenclature: What's a Bushel and a Peck?

Know Your Nomenclature: What's a Bushel and a Peck?

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Sheela Prakash
Aug 30, 2016
(Image credit: Kristin Duvall/Stocksy)

Go to a farm stand or head out on an Pick Your Own excursion and you may be faced with a difficult question: bushel or a peck? Besides both being rather fun, rarely used words, I honestly don't know what each term means, so I usually just smile, nod, and point to what seems like the amount of peaches or apples I am looking for. Of course, they do mean specific sizes — here's what they are and how they are different from each other.

The Difference Between a Bushel and a Peck

Both are a dry volume measure of quarts. A bushel is equal to 32 quarts, while a peck is equal to 8 quarts, or a quarter of a bushel.

1 bushel = 4 pecks

A Bushel

A bushel is a measure of dry volume that is equal to 32 quarts. Since it measures volume instead of weight, the weight of the fruit in a bushel varies depending on the fruit. For instance, a bushel of peaches weighs about 48 pounds, a bushel of corn weighs about 35 pounds, and a bushel of tomatoes weights about 53 pounds.

A Peck

A peck is also a measure of dry volume and is smaller than a bushel. To be specific, it is a quarter of the volume of a bushel. So seeing as a bushel is 32 dry quarts, a peck is 8 dry quarts. Again, the weight of the fruit or vegetable in a peck varies depending on what it is.

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