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Jul
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7.23.13 … I love Georgia peaches … “The Civil War left the Southern economy in ruins and ended slavery, which meant it was no longer possible for white farmers to produce cotton and other labor-intensive cash crops with cheap slave labor. One alternative was peaches.” …

GA, Ga. blueberry,  peach, fruit crops, Georgia history, Samuel Rumph, kith/kin:  Interesting … Lane Southern Orchards Billboard

So is GA now the blueberry state?

Well, I love Georgia peaches.  My grandmother was from Ft. Valley GA and my mom was born there.  That was the center of the peach universe as far as I knew.  Round about the 4th of July, my grandfather would drive over to Lane Packing House
and buy several bushels of peaches, and then my grandparents would make everything imaginable fresh (including fresh peach ice cream) and then peel, cut and slice and freeze the remainder for serving on top of ice cream all winter.  I love this article not because of the blueberry aspect, but because it tells the history of Georgia and the Peach!

Lane Southern Orchards friendly agricultural operation offers city slickers and international visitors a chance to see a real working farm. Peaches are picked fresh, processed on the packing line, then delivered to your neighborhood grocery store and to your family’s table.

via Lane Southern Orchards | Fresh Georgia Peaches | Pecans | Fruit.

 

 

GA. BLUEBERRY KNOCKS PEACH OFF TOP OF FRUIT PILE

Another reason blueberries have proliferated to such a degree is that Georgia farmers are searching for alternatives to traditional Southern crops such as tobacco and timber. Tobacco production has trailed off as Americans smoke less, and the timber industry took a big hit when the Great Recession slowed home building.

Vickers is one of those farmers. As of now, he still makes more money from tobacco, and sometimes cotton and peanuts. But he thinks blueberries probably have better long-term prospects than tobacco.

“If they begin to go down —and tobacco is probably one of those things — I have something to replace that, in case we need it,” he said.

Georgia is not the biggest U.S. peach producer, and is regularly beat by California and neighboring South Carolina. Its reputation for peaches was always one part reality and one part marketing.

The Civil War left the Southern economy in ruins and ended slavery, which meant it was no longer possible for white farmers to produce cotton and other labor-intensive cash crops with cheap slave labor.

One alternative was peaches. Samuel Rumph, a 19th century grower in Georgia, was a major innovator, commercializing a tasty and robust variety called the Elberta, named for his wife. Perhaps more important, he developed a refrigerated rail car, making it possible to ship Georgia peaches to larger markets in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. As a result, Northern customers started associating Georgia with peaches.

“He had a great product. He didn’t have a way to get it to market,” said Will McGehee, a fifth-generation peach grower and the marketing director for the Georgia Peach Council. “And the refrigerated rail car was the answer. And so finally you were able to connect demand and supply.”

via Ga. blueberry knocks peach off top of fruit pile.


1 Response to “7.23.13 … I love Georgia peaches … “The Civil War left the Southern economy in ruins and ended slavery, which meant it was no longer possible for white farmers to produce cotton and other labor-intensive cash crops with cheap slave labor. One alternative was peaches.” …”



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