What is summer, we ask, without the taste of Elberta peaches? Whether craving homemade ice cream or fresh fruit, Elberta peaches reign supreme as a prized variety in Southwest Georgia. But an apparent shortage has had growers, seller, and customers in a state of heightened anxiety this summer. The shortage has been attributed to such factors as post-COVID driver and production labor shortages, the Ukraine conflict, and late-winter freezes in Southern peach orchards.
At Perry Wellness Center, Stuart Perry has been keeping his eye on summer trends, as he ensures that the wellness program’s farm-to-table market is well stocked with customer favorites. He isn’t holding his breath about Elberta peaches and recently explained: “We have always heard that Elberta peaches would be available in early August. Today is August 1. I guess the growers could examine their crops and pick peaches on this first weekend of August. But when we located Elberta peaches, we bought many. They are on display in Happy Patch.”
Fun Facts: Elberta peaches originated up the road in Marshallville, Georgia, over 150 years ago. It is now U.S. home gardeners’ favorite peach tree .
In the photo above, colorful ripe Elberta peaches make their presence known in the bustling market.