We Put the Peach in Georgia
Have you ever wondered why peaches from Georgia are so good? It’s the flavor! A fresh, sweet Georgia peach is the most flavorful peach you can get anywhere. And that’s no accident. 许多因素完美地结合在一起，赋予我们的桃子独一无二的传奇风味，包括气候, 土壤, expertise and maybe just a little 桃县 magic. After all, we put the Peach in Georgia.
第一批乔治亚桃子在1858年至1860年间被运往纽约市场. They were transported by wagon to Augusta, then by shallow-draft boat to Savannah, and finally by steamship to New York. 在南北战争后的三十年里，乔治亚州赢得了“桃子州”的称号，因为山谷堡和桃子县成为桃子产业的中心和世界桃子之都.
在桃子产业的全盛时期，多达18家桃子包装厂排列在福特谷的街道两旁. 拜伦是该县唯一的另一个城市，位于铁路线以北约12英里处，有多达14个. 一个当地的种植者把他的房子搬了几千码，这样他就可以看到他的桃子被装进火车车厢(那种结构), the Troutman Home, currently houses the chamber and Fort Valley’s Main Street offices).
Today there are just two major growing and packing operations here, 车道 Southern果园和Pearson's Big 6农场由两个家庭所有，他们在这里生活、工作和耕种了130多年!
新鲜的乔治亚桃子每年只有16周，从5月中旬到8月. Long known as the Peach State, Georgia produces, 可以说, the sweetest and tastiest peaches grown anywhere. In 2016, the Georgia peach crop totaled 86.6 million pounds and brought in $46.300万年.
First grown in China almost 4,1000年前, 桃子已经从它们的家乡通过印度和波斯传播到西方世界，在那里它们最初被种植. 桃子后来被引入欧洲，哥伦布在他的第二次和第三次旅行中把桃子的种子带到了新大陆. 这些种子最终来到了佐治亚州中部的红粘土土地上，在那里它们被种植在几英亩的土地上，这就是后来的桃县.
Though peaches were originally planted in St. Augustine, Fla., Franciscan monks introduced them to St. Simons and Cumberland islands along Georgia's coast in 1571. By the mid-1700s peaches and plums were cultivated by the Cherokee Indians. 内战前，乔治亚州种植了越来越多的家庭果园.
Raphael Moses, a planter and Confederate officer from Columbus, 1851年，他是最早在乔治亚州销售桃子的人之一，并被认为是第一个在南方以外成功运输和销售桃子的人. His method of shipping peaches in champagne baskets, rather than in pulverized charcoal, helped to preserve the flavor of the fruit and contributed to his success.
撒母耳Rumph, a Marshallville peach grower, perfected a new peach variety in 1870, which he named for his wife, 埃尔伯塔. 这种黄瓤的桃子质量好，比以前的品种运输得好. 埃尔伯塔 remained the leading peach in Georgia until 1960, but newer varieties have since replaced the 埃尔伯塔 in commercial use. Although the 埃尔伯塔 remains the most famous peach name, Georgia now produces more than 40 commercial varieties ... and the 埃尔伯塔 is not one of them.
19世纪末和20世纪初，桃子的种植面积出现了相当大的扩张, 到1928年，产量达到了历史最高水平，近800万蒲式耳. Since then production has decreased to about 1.7 million bushels annually.
Georgia enjoys important production and marketing advantages, 主要是靠近东部市场，由于收获早，水果质量高，价格优惠.
Nearly all peaches grown in Georgia are sold in the wholesale fresh market, with a small percentage sold at roadside markets. There is no significant processing of peaches in Georgia.
Peach expansion in acreage and production was fueled by several factors. 奴隶制的废除迫使农民们寻找传统劳动密集型棉花作物的替代品. Peaches, in particular, benefited from this transition.
The Georgia State Horticultural Society, founded near Augusta in 1876, 在Prosper J .的领导下，促进了许多水果品种的引进和试验，并在全州范围内进行了分销.A. Berckmans, a nurseryman and pomologist. The old Fruitlands Nursery is now the site of the Augusta National Golf Club, home to the annual Masters Tournament.
伯克曼斯因引进更适合在南方气候下生长的新水果品种而闻名. 他开发或改良了许多种类的桃子，最终被称为南方的“桃子文化之父”. 在他的品种中有中国南方(或蜜桃)和中国荔枝. From the Chinese Cling, Prosper eventually bred the 埃尔伯塔, Belle and Thurber peaches, which became Georgia's primary commercial varieties. His Thurber peach was the leading variety until it was replaced by the 埃尔伯塔.
Georgia's peach industry is concentrated in Peach, 克劳福德, Taylor and Macon counties along the fall line, the transition zone between Georgia's Piedmont and Coastal Plain. This area is far enough north to receive sufficient winter chilling, but far enough south to avoid late frosts and guarantee early harvest dates. The early harvest allows premium prices for the crop. 另外, 秋季线的砂壤土比山前的重粘土或海岸平原的沙土更有利于桃的生产.
皮尔森家族五代人在这个地区种植红乔治亚粘土已有130多年的历史. 皮尔森家族的Big 6农场由1500英亩的桃子和2000英亩的山核桃组成. 这个家庭农场生产大量的水果和坚果，其中最好的水果和坚果被用于玛丽·皮尔森的在线电子商务业务, Pearson Farms.
It all started in 1885 when Moses Winlock (Lockie) Pearson and his wife, 艾玛, 搬到乔治亚州中部，在那里种下了自己的家族根基，并为皮尔森家族种下了第一批桃树. They eventually had six sons and six daughters. One of their sons, 约翰, current managing partner Al Pearson's grandfather, started farming on his own, adding more land to the family holdings and planting more peaches.
劳顿, the youngest son of 约翰 and Rosa Lee Pearson, 他的妻子劳里开始在泽尼思的家庭农场工作，他们有三个孩子:佩吉, 安和艾尔. 当孩子, 每年夏天，皮尔森家的孩子们都在桃子包装棚里工作，在那里他们学会了坚持不懈和坚韧不拔. No matter how tired or how late the hour, peaches must be ready for timely shipping to New York and other points north.
After college, Al joined his father in farming. In 1972, 他娶了在乔治亚大学认识的玛丽·麦克伦南，他们还有三个孩子——玛丽·凯瑟琳, 劳顿 and Laurie. In 1973 Al began operating the farm as Big 6农场, a partnership effort owned by Al and his two sisters, farming together for 35 years. Al and his son 劳顿, a recent law school graduate, purchased the business in 2008 and began farming together. 劳顿嫁给了拉尼尔·德纳尔，他们现在有三个年幼的孩子——阿德琳、科特和萨顿. Al and 劳顿 also grow a large acreage of pecans.
Big 6农场符合美国农业部和FDA制定的食品安全标准和良好农业规范(GAP)指南. Big 6也达到了乔治亚州GP食品安全计划制定的审计标准. 它是佐治亚州仅有的三个获得这一称号的农场之一，也是唯一的桃子和山核桃农场.
Visit the Pearson Farm/Big 6 website for more information.
车道 Southern Orchards
Founded in 1908 by 约翰 David Duke as Diamond Fruit Farm, 车道 Packing Co. farms more than 6,000 acres of peaches and pecans. Located just outside of Fort Valley, 这个第四代家族企业现在种植了超过35个品种的桃子.
约翰 David Duke built his first peach packing house in 1942. J.D, Duke Packing Co. was taken over by his son-in-law David O. 车道, and grandson, Duke 车道 Sr. in 1950 and the packing shed became known as 车道 Packing Co.
Following the retirement of his father, Duke 车道 Sr. became sole owner and, 直到1975年, continued to pack peaches at the same location his grandfather built in 1942.
In 1976, Duke 车道 Sr. formed a partnership with the Russell Pearson family. Together they built a more modern packing house and named the company Pearson & 车道. This partnership remained in place until 1989. 1989年的季节过后，莱恩家族开始在家族农场建造一个新的包装厂. 该设施是同类设施中最现代化的设施之一，并在1990年的作物种植时及时准备就绪.
With the new packing house built, Duke 车道 Sr. turned the business over to his four children -- the late Ann Rigdon, Duke Jr., Bobby, Steve -- who continue to run it today.
Visit the 车道 Packing Co. website for more information.
(本文的信息来自车道家族和Al Pearson提供的历史资料，以及Kathryn C. Taylor at the University of Georgia.)