I was at Jaemor Farms this past weekend and for the first time in my life, I saw later summer peaches grown locally! We have peaches in May, June, and in some places late August but not mid-September. Over 40 different varieties of peaches are grown in Georgia between mid-May and mid-August. Each year, Georgia produces over 130 million pounds of peaches. It’s the official state fruit! Georgia Belles, to me, are the best. They are early summer peaches and not available for very long.
Here’s a little trivia taken from gapeaches.org: “Though peaches were originally planted in St. Augustine, Fla., Franciscan monks introduced them to St. Simons and Cumberland islands along Georgia’s coast in 1571. By the mid-1700s peaches and plums were cultivated by the Cherokee Indians.
“Raphael Moses, a planter and Confederate officer from Columbus, was among the first to market peaches within Georgia in 1851 and is credited with being the first to ship and sell peaches successfully outside of the South. His method of shipping peaches in champagne baskets, rather than in pulverized charcoal, helped to preserve the flavor of the fruit and contributed to his success.”
Regardless of whether we have peaches now or not, seasons are changing in northeast Georgia and the appearance of Indian corn is evidence of this very thing. These colors are among my favorites. They embody light and warmth.
The trip did take a disappointing dip. My favorite apples—Arkansas Blacks—won’t be ready to be picked until late October. These are absolutely the best apples—fresh, clear flavor, and crisp. Looks like until then, I’ll have to wait and munch on Golden Delicious or Gala apples.