SC Commissioner Weathers: It’s Peach Season!
Peach season is well underway in South Carolina. Here’s Commissioner Hugh Weathers to tell us about it.
That’s right, Mike. We love our peaches here in South Carolina
Most years, South Carolina grows more peaches than any other state besides California.
In 2021 we produced more than $106 million worth of peaches.
That’s 16,000 harvested acres and 87,400 tons of peaches.
Other key peach producing states are New Jersey, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, along with Western states like Colorado and Washington.
South Carolina peaches are special. Like other Eastern peaches, they are often smaller and juicier, with high Brix readings and acidity that helps bring out the flavor. Brix is a measure of sweetness.
We had that hard freeze in March that did some damage to early varieties. Volume was light early in the season.
But now that we’re well into June, we’re seeing good peach volume. It looks like another good year for SC peaches.
Freestone peaches are usually available around the end of June. While clingstones are great peaches, many people prefer freestone varieties for eating. Freestone varieties are the types where the flesh breaks easily away from the pit.
I was happy to hear that the Lexington County Peach Festival in Gilbert will be held this year on July 4, as it was for so many years before the pandemic.
The South Carolina Peach Festival is being held July 14-16. This one is up in Gaffney, home of the big peach water tower.
And the 50th annual Ridge Peach Festival was held this past weekend.
It’s a great time of year in South Carolina.