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Summer Classics

Growing up in the heart of Peach County, fresh peaches in the summer were a given.  Local folks didn't dream of buying peaches anywhere other than a packing house or fruit stand in town.  Why? Because everyone knew our Georgia peaches were the best!  They certainly checked all the boxes for the best fruit….sweetest—check…. juiciest—check…. biggest—check, check!!   After all, we were known as the Peach State because of the fabulous fruit we grew in our sandy, red dirt. So, to say we were left speechless after receiving a call from our Northern peach broker one summer afternoon would be an understatement.  That call went something like this, “Al, don't send me any more of those yellow peaches”, he said, “I don't care how sweet you say they are or how good you think they taste.  I can't sell them!”  We were dumbfounded…  a stranger, someone who had never stepped foot into a peach orchard, or rubbed his hands across the softest fuzz of a peach's skin or smelled the intoxicating fragrance of a freshly picked peach, had the nerve to call and  say disparaging things about our  Queen of Fruits.  And while we wanted to be angry and defensive with this stranger, as a commercial fruit grower we relied on this salesman to sell our peaches, so we listened to his complaints and assured him we'd find some redder peaches. Whether the change to purchase only highly colored, visually appealing fruit was a shift in perception of what signified ripeness or perhaps a fad or modern trend to consume only what is pleasing to the eye, the message was clear; taste had been trumped by appearance!  And while local farmers began to feel the sting of the consumer's food preference, the real victims were the peaches themselves.  Farmers whose livelihoods relied on Northern brokers selling their fruit were forced to abandon the peach varieties they had been growing for decades, and seek out tree breeders who could develop “red” peaches in an effort to satisfy the eyes of the customers. The trick was to cultivate varieties that had good color, good texture, weren't susceptible to disease, and still maintained the signature sweetness of the Georgia Peach.  Farmers were willing to do what was needed to add the color element but they weren't willing to sacrifice the flavor.  The task was daunting but not impossible.  Breeders like Dick Okie were able to develop and release many varieties that met most-- if not all these standards-- and so the commercial peach industry in the South continued. But you might wonder what happened to all those traditional, dare we say, “Heirloom” varieties we had been growing for years. Well, many were used in the breeding programs to help maintain consistency with flavor and other important traits.  Some became obsolete as farms placed their focus on newer, redder, varieties, while others were planted in smaller blocks by farms like us wanting to maintain their roots.  After all, we knew what we wanted to take home to Momma! Today, we continue to grow a small number of acres of our treasured varieties and in good years, we may have enough to share in our retail store, but we have never shipped these varieties to our mail order customers….. until NOW!  We are excited to announce a limited-time offering of our Summer Classics Series.  We want to share a taste of history with our greatest peach fans.  The series will consist of 4 shipments of our cherished varieties that will come straight from the Farm to your door.  We hope you will join our trip down memory lane and place an order for these timeless treasures today!   Click here to order your Summer Classics Subscription today!

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