COLUMBIA — In celebration of the “tastier peach” and National Peach Month, the South Carolina Peach Council in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is hosting Peach Day at the Market this coming Saturday. Free peaches will be offered while they last to visitors in the North Farmers Shed at the SC State Farmers Market, 3843 Charleston Highway, W. Columbia from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 23.
In 1982, Congress by Joint Resolution recognized the role peaches play in our food supply and our economy. With that in mind, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Peach Month. That was nearly 30 years ago, but South Carolina’s peaches remain the sweetest, tastiest peaches around. That’s why a South Carolina peach is known far and wide as the “tastier peach.”
Lynne Chappell of Kline, S.C. in Barnwell County, S.C. Peach Council President, said, “The Peach Council is sponsoring this promotion to showcase peak season for our tastier South Carolina peaches. Growers throughout the state are working around the clock providing customers everywhere with our delicious, sweet tree-ripened fruit.”
More than 14,000 acres are planted in peaches in South Carolina and, depending on the weather and other production factors the value of production at the farm level is between 60 and 65 million. In 2010, close to 3,000 truckloads of commercially packed peaches were shipped from South Carolina orchards. With the ripple affect the value of the peach industry increases significantly, especially in the 14 rural counties of the state where peaches are predominantly grown.
“This is another in our series of summer events celebrating our 4th Anniversary of the Certified SC program,” said Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture. “The ‘tastier peach’ is South Carolina’s signature fruit and people anxiously await its arrival. They’re here. Clingstone or freestone, they’re all great. So, join us at the market for this sweet retreat and get peachy!”
Peach salsa, peach cobbler, peach smoothie, peach ice cream, or just a simple fresh peach — which will it be? It doesn’t matter how you eat them just as long as you celebrate National Peach Month by eating Certified SC grown peaches in as many ways as you can imagine. But since peach season in South Carolina extends from May to September, consumers can buy a bag or basketful well into the fall.
For more information about South Carolina grown peaches, visit http://www.scpeach.com or call Amy London, South Carolina Peach Council, 803-734-2200.