Though not indigenous to Georgia, or even America, the peach and Georgia are now forever linked. Transplanted to North America in the late 1500s, the peach quickly found the Georgia climate and soil a perfect match. Prized for their plump, juicy and bright yellow flesh, Georgia peaches now have worldwide notoriety.
Introduction of the Peach to Georgia
The first peaches in the U.S. were planted in St. Augustine, Florida. Franciscan monks introduced peaches to the Georgia coast in 1571. The fruit tree took to the region and found a foothold when the Cherokee Indians began cultivating them.
The Georgia Peach Comes to Market
Orchard owner Raphael Moses is widely credited with building the market for Georgia peaches and exporting them out of the south. Shunning the widely used method of shipping peaches in pulverized charcoal, in 1851 Moses started shipping his peaches in champagne baskets. The change help preserve the fruit and contributed to his ability to export them out of Georgia. By 1858, Georgia peaches were being sold in New York City.
The Georgia Peach Market Expands
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, peach tree cultivation exploded. By 1928 Georgia peach production hit its all-time high of nearly 8 million bushels. Since that peak, production has been in a steady decline, bottoming out at its current level of 2.6 million bushels.
Georgia Peach Nutritional Data
One medium-size Georgia peach contains 38 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat, .06 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of dietary fiber, and 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Georgia Peach Season
The Georgia peaches are in-season from Mid-may to mid-August.
- Photo Credit peach image by Andrzej Włodarczyk from Fotolia.com
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