HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina peach farmers and produce distributors say it’s a sweeter peach season this year, specifically with peaches that grow in the Upstate.
“May I help you folks?” asked Stephen Wells.
Stephen Wells is long retired, but that isn’t stopping him at 80 years old. He sells produce for Lawson’s Local Produce out of Galivants Ferry at every Waccamaw Farmers Market along the Grand Strand.
This year, he agrees with farmers in South Carolina’s Upstate that the peaches are sweeter this season, because of all the good rain the area has had.
“They’re homegrown,” he said. “[They] come from Spartanburg, South Carolina.”
It wasn’t a great start to the season. Wells says there was almost three weeks of no rain.
“We’ve had a lot of a problem with lack of rain, and I think some of the trees were in areas where they got more rain, therefore they’re going to be the sweeter peach, because they’re going to draw the moisture from the ground,” said Wells.
Clemson Extension Agent Andy Rollins says demand for peaches remains strong, and that’s good news for distributors.
Sellers like Lawson’s Local Produce rely on peaches from areas like the Pee Dee and Upstate, because it’s normally too dry along the coast to grow peach trees.
Wells said that lack of rain at the beginning of peach season in May hurt other produce they distribute.
“Just about everything that comes from the ground,” said Wells. “The only thing that wasn’t affected much was the potatoes.”
Wells and other produce sellers say even though it’s said peaches are sweeter this year, they’re biased every year for a good South Carolina peach.
“We don’t put Georgia peaches on a South Carolina table,” he said. “It’s against our ethics.”STEPHEN WELLS, LAWSON’S LOCAL PRODUCE
Another produce distributor for the Waccamaw Farmers Market, Miguel with Miguel and Miller Farms, agrees.
“South Carolina peaches, that’s some good peaches,” he said. “Better than the peaches in Georgia.”
Lawson’s Local Produce has a stand open on Hwy. 501 that’s open every day of the week, so Wells says get your peaches before they’re gone.
Peach season ends at the end of August.