Summertime is peach time in the state of South Carolina. While Georgia is called the Peach State, the Palmetto State actually out-produces its neighbor in the fruit. During a normal year, South Carolina grows 60,000 tons of peaches which makes it obviously the state fruit.
Peaches took hold in the 1850s but grew in popularity in the 1920s when cotton farmers hit hard by the boll weevil made a shift from cotton. The current value of this crop to the state’s economy is $40 million, which is a lot of sweet-smelling, sticky, nutritious, luxurious fruit. Over 18,000 acres of those babies.
Most of these farms are located on beautiful, smooth, rolling hills which make production simpler and the view ever so easy on the eyes. The carefully manicured ten-foot trees, speckled with fruit, create a uniform landscape painting you could get lost in. And the aroma . . . oh my goodness.
Southern Living has even covered South Carolina and its major peach producers, most of them family operators who claim that this state’s peaches run bigger, sweeter, and juicier that those found next door. Below is a list of places where you can take a rest in your travels across the Southeast and pick up some fantastic peaches and peachy snacks. South Carolina is not a large state, and in the summer you probably come close to one of these farms, and you would be sorely remiss if you didn’t stop.
Abbott Farms, Spartanburg, Florence, and Gaffney, SC - www.abottfarmsonline.com
Belue Farms, Boiling Springs, SC – www.beluefarms.com
Big Smile/Yonce Farms, Johnston, SC – www.bigsmilepeaches.com
Black’s Peaches, 1800 Black Highway, York, SC - http://www.blackspeachesandbakery.com/
Callaham Orchards - https://www.facebook.com/Callaham-Orchards-152822858065270/ 559 Crawford Road, Belton, SC
Chappell Farms, Barnwell, SC – www.chappellfarms.com
Cook’s Roadside Market, 1236 August Road, US Highway 25, Trenton, SC - http://www.cooksfarm.com/
Cooley Springs, SC Highway 11, Chesnee, SC - http://discoversouthcarolina.com/products/26393
Dixie Belle Farm, Ward, SC – www.dixiebellepeaches.com
Fishers Orchard, 650 Fisher Road, Greer, SC - http://www.fishersorchard.com/
McLeods Farm, SC Highway 151, McBee, SC – www.macspride.com
Sease Farms, Lexington, SC – www.clintonseasefarm.com
Springs Farm, 1010 Springfield Highway, Fort Mill, SC - http://www.springsfarm.com/
Titan Farms, Ridge Spring, SC – www.titanfarms.com
Watsonia Farms, Monetta, SC – www.watsoniafarms.com
Oh, while you’re cruising across the state, hopefully in the summer, why not stop at one of three peach festivals!
Lexington County Peach Festival - http://www.lexingtoncountypeachfestival.com/ - usually held around the 4th of July in the Gilbert CommunityPark in Gilbert, SC. This one is only thirty miles from the state capital of Columbia.
Ridge Peach Festival - http://www.ridgepeachfestival.com/ - usually held mid-June with a huge representation by several of the farms mentioned above. Location Trenton, SC.
South Carolina Peach Festival – http://www.scpeachfestival.net/ - held mid-July in Cherokee County, in the town of Gaffney. You can’t miss the big town water tower shaped like a peach!
Fresh peaches, peach salsa, peach cobbler, peach pies, peach jam, peach ice cream, peach sauce on chicken and ribs, peach French toast, and melt-in-your-mouth peach BBQ sauce. What can’t you make with peaches! Especially the sweeter SC peaches. And don’t forget that August is National Peach Month!
And if you don’t believe me that South Carolina does peaches better than Georgia, just listen to Steve Colbert.