Georgia, located in the southeastern region of the U.S., is a beautiful state with a rich historical and economic background.
Not only is it one of the largest states in terms of landmass, but it also holds a significant position with regard to economic power, both historically and in the present day.
Known to the masses as the “Peach State”, Georgia’s peach production has a fascinating history dating back centuries. The Franciscan monks first brought peaches to the region, where they were grown in St. Simons and Cumberland islands along the state’s coast as early as 1571!
Fast forward to the mid-1700s, when the infamous Cherokee Indians began cultivating peaches and plums. Once the number of orchids grew, so did Georgia’s reputation for producing high-quality peaches across the land.
Soon enough, Georgia was known as the “Peach State”, and then shortly after, was nicknamed this officially.
Let’s dive into the history behind why Georgia is called the peach state and whether or not it is still the main producing peach state in the United States! If you are enjoying this interesting fact about the state of Georgia, then you’ll enjoy reading our article with over 40 interesting facts about Georgia.
History Behind Why Georgia is Known as the Peach State
As we previously mentioned, it was the Franciscan Monks that initially brought over and planted the seeds for the peach tree in Georgia back in the 1500s.
After the initial planting, the fruit began to thrive in the Georgian climate, making them even sweeter and juicier than ever. Centuries later is when the fruit began to build up steam.
Civil War soldiers from all over the nation began to pick the peaches from Georgia that were growing on the trees surrounding the battlefields. It is safe to say they really enjoyed them, specifically praising their flavor and sweetness.
After this, the state was universally known as the best peach producer in the United States.
After the Civil War had ended, the “New South” needed to rebrand itself. The South had many ties with the cotton-producing industry, which had brought many riches to the region and, subsequently, the state of Georgia over time.
However, the cotton industry was heavily linked with slavery, and the new southern society did not want to be associated with it.
Peach production boomed during the post-Civil War era, and the southern region was gaining a rather large reputation for having the best and most peaches in the United States.
Unfortunately, despite trying to move away from the slave trade, there were still many slaves employed to work on some of the peach plantations across the region with virtually no pay or benefits.
Final Thoughts on the Peach State
In Georgia, there are roughly 70 different roads that are all named after peaches, paying more homage to the nickname and proving the significance of peaches within the state long before the official Georgia nickname adoption.
The capital city of the state, Atlanta, is home to one of the most significant routes in the state, and it is named “Peachtree Street”.
Peaches really do hold much significance within the state, providing a lot of the economic stability we see in Georgia today.
Still to this day, the state lives up to its nickname, with the southern region of the U.S. producing around 30 million pounds of peaches annually, with a value of approximately $70,500,000. However, the production is far less than what it used to be.
Nowadays, the state’s most valuable fruit crop is the blueberry, and most of the land is used for peanut farming.
No longer does Georgia hold the crown for the highest peach-producing state in the U.S., the title now belongs to California, which produces the highest number of peaches in the nation, approximately 617,760 tons per year!
Not only does Georgia no longer produce the most peaches in the U.S., but it actually has another nickname that was adopted due to past triumphs, find out what the second Georgia nickname is and why it was adopted.