Although Georgia was officially designated the “Peach State” in 1995, its biggest fruit crop is not actually peaches but blueberries! But peaches still define Georgia and remain the signature artwork on our state license plates, on state welcome signs and on “I Voted” stickers! Georgia’s peaches are nationally recognized for their quality, taste and appearance.
Fort Valley, in Peach County, is known as the Peach Capitol of the World and is the heart of Georgia’s peach operations. Most of the state’s peach farms are concentrated here, where farms produce not only peaches but pecans.
Peach season typically lasts from mid-May until mid- August, so now is the optimum time to visit. A pleasant two-hour drive will take you to the Fort Valley area where you can spend a day exploring the peach and pecan orchards and experience the summer sweetness of our famed fruit in many forms including pies, cobbler and ice cream!
Over 40 varieties of peaches are grown here in the Peach State! Take some time to lean about some of the types of peaches so you can decide what you want to purchase.
The first peaches to be harvested in the season, during mid-May, are varieties of clingstone peaches. They are so named because their flesh “clings” to the pit of the peach. They are smaller, with yellow and red flesh, and very sweet.
The next peaches to be harvested in June are varieties of the semi-freestone peaches. These are a hybrid between clingstone and freestone. The flesh separates easily from the pit, and these are a great all-around choice for cooking, canning and just eating!
The last to be harvested (in mid-June through August) are varieties of the freestone peach – so named because the flesh comes easily from the pit. These peaches are the largest and juiciest and do well canning or freezing or just enjoying on their own.
On your way south via Hwy-41 and Hwy 341, make your first stop Dickey Farms in the charming town of Musella. The farm’s multi-generational growers have been producing peaches in the area for over 125 years and are the proud owners of Georgia’s oldest, continuously operating peach packinghouse, built by Bob Dickey in 1936. Relax and while away the hours in a comfortable rocking chair on Dickey Farm’s front porch while enjoying their phenomenal peach ice cream. The general store has every peach and pecan product you can imagine. You can even watch the fresh peaches being sorted and packaged.
Continue on to Fort Valley and stop at Lane Southern Orchards, with over 5,000 acres of peach trees and 6,000 acres of pecan trees. Lane Orchards is the largest peach grower in the state and has been producing peaches and pecans for over 100 years. Enjoy lunch at the Peachtree Café and Bakery, a full-service café, known for its fried pies, smoked BBQ and peach cobbler. Their gift shop offers fresh peaches and prepared food items to take home, such as peach cobbler, jams, pecan pie, and candy. Tours of the orchards are also available.
While in Fort Valley, you can also visit Pearson Farm, where five generations of peach farmers have been growing peaches and pecans for over 135 years, and you can watch how peaches get packed in their packing shed. Check out the Pearson Farm website for information on selecting peaches, caring for your peaches, and the best way to freeze them.
Enjoy a day trip to peach country and you will return with baskets of fresh peaches and visions of cooking up a true Georgia peach cobbler!
Locations of Peach Farms in Central Georgia
3440 Musella Rd., Musella GA 31066
Lane Southern Orchards
50 Lane Rd., Fort Valley, GA 31030
5575 Zenith Mill Rd., Fort Valley 31030
Coffee Cup Peach Cobbler
Courtesy of Wendy Barton at Lane Southern Orchard
1 Tb. butter
2 Tb. brown sugar, not packed
2 Tb. flour
2 Tb. milk
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 peach, peeled and sliced
How to Prepare It
Microwave butter in a mug until melted. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, milk, and baking powder to mug. Stir. Add peaches on top of batter. Do not stir. Cook for 2 minutes in microwave. Remove and let cool a bit before indulging. Optional: Top with your favorite granola or ice cream.