Here’s some news that’s just peachy.
The Georgia Peach Peddler will be making a visit to McMinnville this Monday, Aug. 3, with boxes of fresh peaches on sale as a fundraiser for Covenant Academy.
The peaches are from Fitzgerald Fruit Farms in Woodbury, Ga., which buys its peach trees from two Warren County growers – Cumberland Valley Nursery and Vaughn Nursery.
“You’ll get to buy peaches from Warren County peach trees,” said Ashleigh Lennon of Fitzgerald Fruit Farms. Ashleigh owns and operates the business with her husband Sean.
“We’ll pick the peaches on Saturday or Sunday and have them in McMinnville on Monday,” said Ashleigh. “With peaches, you don’t have much room between the time you harvest them and the time you eat them. For a premium product with the best quality, you want that time to be as short as possible. That’s one of the reasons peaches are so popular in small, country markets. Sometimes the peaches at those markets have been picked earlier that day.”
Ashleigh provided some juicy insight into their peach growing operation of some 70,000 trees. She said each tree has to be touched by hand a minimum of three times each growing season – once to prune, once to thin by hand, and once to pick. “There’s a lot of labor involved,” admits Ashleigh.
The Lennons grow 30 varieties of peach trees because each variety is ready to harvest at a slightly different time. The window varies slightly, but the harvest season in Georgia is traditionally mid-June to mid-August.
“The goal is to have the peaches come in back to back so you stay busy,” said Ashleigh. “You don’t want everything in two weeks.”
Boxes of peaches from Warren County trees will be available Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Covenant Academy, 1079 Country Club Drive. Each box is 8-9 pounds and costs $25, with $5 from each purchase benefitting Covenant Academy.