In honor of peach season in the Upstate, we’re taking a look at a battle that pits one state against another: Georgia, “The Peach State” vs. South Carolina, “The Tastier Peach State,” which is the nickname Clemson’s official “peach expert” gave SC over a decade ago.
Let’s take a look, battle by battle, at why we think SC peaches come out on top in this so-called “Peach War.”
Battle One | The Numbers
- Production: 87,400 tons
- Harvested acres: 16,000
- Yield: 5.46 tons per acre
- Production: 35,300 tons
- Harvested acres: 8,200
- Yield: 4.3 tons per acre
Winner: South Carolina — we’re the largest peach producer east of the Mississippi.
Battle Two | The History
- Mid-1700s: The Cherokee Nation grew peaches in this region.
- Late 1850s: Commercial shipping out of the region began.
- 1935: There were 233 packing houses and three million+ peach trees in Spartanburg County alone.
- 1984: South Carolina adopted the peach as its state fruit.
- 1995: Georgia adopted the peach as its state fruit.
Winner: South Carolina — we declared the peach as our state fruit first. Checkmate.
Battle Three | The Taste
“South Carolina stakes claim to the sweetest, juiciest peaches in the Southeast.” — The South Carolina Field Office of the USDA
“The larger South Carolina peach was plump and drippy when I bit into the flesh. The floral aroma tickled my tongue and I tasted hints of nectar and honey. The Georgia peach had a less pronounced flavor and was less juicy.” — Alexa Lampasona of the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Winner: South Carolina — okay, we’ll admit it. We chose quotes that support our argument.
Where to get your farm fresh, local peaches
- Fishers Orchard | Multiple locations
- Abbott Farms | Multiple locations
- Callaham Orchards* | 559 Crawford Rd., Belton
- Hyder Farms*^ | 550 Hogback Mountain Rd., Landrum
- Red Hill Orchard | 2555 Redland Rd., Campobello
- Ragan Orchards | 2039 Hwy. 292, Inman
- MacGregor Orchard* | 2400 SC Hwy. 11, Travelers Rest
*Can be found at TD Saturday Market, ^ Can be found at the Travelers Rest Farmers Market