1 decade ago. From peaches to peanuts, taste fresh new flavors every season in Georgia. An undated photo shows peach pickers being driven to the orchards in Muscella, Ga. Black labor was essential for the success of the peach crop, even if African-Americans were rarely credited for the importance of their work. Peaches, which are native to Asia, have been growing haphazardly in the United States since they were brought over by Europeans in the 17th century. Freedmen now needed year-round employment, and the labor requirements of the peach season — tree trimming and harvest — fit perfectly with the time of year when cotton was slow. Though the story of the post-bellum South is often one of industrialization and urbanization, it was also a time of redefining what agriculture would mean without the enslaved labor plantation owners had relied on. Tasting the cobbler is free. And … Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South. Year-round, tourist traps sell mugs, hats, shirts and even snow globes with peaches on them. Cherokee Indians grew peaches here in the 18th century. The enormously tasty creation is 11 by 5 feet and about eight inches deep. Sign up for our newsletters, and let Explore Georgia provide inspiration for your next trip. Things are just peachy here in Georgia even when the beloved official state fruit is out of season. Your purchase helps support NPR programming. Georgia is known as the "Peach State" because of the growers' reputation for producing the highest quality fruit. The official strawberry season can stretch from late April to July 4th in Georgia, with... named after the largest Georgia Peach farm "Fruitland Nurseries" from the 1800s, Fruitland Augusta vodkas are made with actual Georgia peaches and are only available in Georgia. 0 0. 8. All other marks belong to their respective owners. Click here for a complete list of Georgia Grown peach orchards, farms and farmers markets! 2. ), 3. When it gets hotter than hades outside, you know it's time to go blueberry picking, Georgia! To succeed, peach farmers had to be able to access horticultural literature and the latest scientific findings. In addition to the cost of the trees and horticultural education, it took three or four years of expenses without income before trees would reliably produce fruit. 0 1. You can sign in to vote the answer. The peach became the official state fruit in 1995. The college was involved in marches and demonstrations; Jo Ann Gibson, an organizer of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, was a 1936 graduate. So why is it that Georgia peaches are so iconic? Georgia isn't the biggest producer of the pink-orange fruit. Georgia designated the peach as the official state fruit in 1995 (Georgia also recognizes a state vegetable, a state crop, and an official prepared food). Their intention was to demonstrate that fruit and ornamental plants could become just as important an industry in the South as cotton, which was ruining the soil with its intensive planting. Georgia is famous as a major producer of the peach, the fuzzy succulent orange fruit whose image appears on state license plates, "welcome to Georgia" billboards and on road signs. Cumberland Island National Seashore - Courtesy of Sarah Dodge, Georgia Conservancy, Apples at B.J. Many states remain associated with a particular food or agricultural product well after the product's importance has waned. So why are its peaches so iconic? Georgia is not the biggest U.S. peach producer, and is regularly beat by California and neighboring South Carolina. But despite its associations with perfectly pink-orange peaches, "The Peach State" of Georgia is neither the biggest peach producing state (that honor goes to California) nor are peaches its biggest crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Georgia as one of the top four peach-producing states along with California, South Carolina and New Jersey. The fruit from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley is on tables at Per Se (one of the world's most expensive restaurants) in New York City, Hugh Acheson's restaurants throughout Georgia, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Bayou Bakery on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 7. Many of the varieties of plants (including peaches) that were part of Berckmans Nursery still thrive on club property. "Cotton had all these associations with poverty and slavery," says Okie, an assistant professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.