Serving Up the Georgia Peach
The Georgia Peach
Growing up in the nation’s peach state, Georgia, I am well acquainted with the luscious, juicy fruit that is a staple during summer months in most households. August is National Peach Month; many blogs, cooking sites, and Facebook pages are honoring the versatile fruit with ample homage.
The tasty, sweet fruit was originally brought to America by settlers of St. Augustine, Florida. Peaches were first brought to the Golden Isles of Georgia by Franciscan monks and cultivated by Native Americans.
Although peaches are grown throughout the state of Georgia, the best known area for the fruit is southern Middle Georgia. Four farms are considered the leading suppliers of the famous Georgia peaches: Dickey Farms, Lane Southern Orchards, Pearson Farms, and Taylor Farms.
I have personally visited Lane Southern Orchard many times in my life and can highly recommend it as a family outing. If you are traveling through Georgia on your way to Florida via I-75 South, stop into Lane’s for a variety of peachy pleasures, delicious sandwiches, and a terrific tour of the orchards. It is worth the detour, I promise.
Peach Promise Pledge
Riding the wave of the buy local trend, the Georgia Peach Commission has initiated the “Peach Promise Pledge” campaign. It challenges citizens of Georgia only to purchase peaches that are grown in the state. The campaign kicked off July 15 and has enlisted sports figures, politicians, and celebrities to join the cause. I have taken the pledge and supported the local farmers with my purchases this summer.
In this day, it is wise to know where your food is grown and by who. Consider supporting the farmers within a fifty mile radius of where you live. Visit the farms for yourself and meet the people who grow your food. If you cannot abide by the fifty mile rule, at least buy from farmers in your home state. American family farms are struggling and deserve to be supported and preserved.
Its Good for You
The Georgia peach is highly nutritious and low in calories. A medium peach only contains 38 calories and has a low glycemic load. A fruit having a low glycemic load, plus fiber, will not spike blood sugar levels. This is especially beneficial for diabetics and people like me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Peaches are also high in water content, vitamin A and C, and contain plant compounds such as flavonoids, which are shown to fight cancer and heart disease. It is of course more nutritious in its natural form than in pies or cobblers, although summer is not complete without such delights.
Preserving the Bounty
As of this summer, I am a beginning canner. I have become quite obsessed withcanning actually. The opportunity to “put up” Georgia peaches gave me yet another excuse to use my new developed skills. The possibilities for canning peaches are endless: whole fruit, chutneys, jams, preserves, and pie filling just to name a few. So far this summer, in my kitchen, I have canned whole peaches for cobblers and peach preserves.
Endless Servings of Delish
Whether you want healthy or decant ways to use peaches, the choices are endless. My family loves cobblers and crisps, but we also eat the fruit in its natural form. Imagine baking a warm peach cobbler on a cold winter’s morning; the smells of fruit and cinnamon wafting through the house.
If you have been eating peaches all your life, attempt a recipe with a new twist. If you’ve never ate one, well, you must give one a try. Here, is a standing invitation to come down to Georgia; we will show you a peach of a good time. Y'all come!
About the Author
Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.
Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.