For all you fruit lovers waiting for the summer harvest, Springs peaches are now sitting pretty at the Peach Stand, the Old Peach Stand and the Farm Market.
"We just started the harvest about two weeks ago," says Ron Edwards, "and it will last until September." Edwards oversees Springs Farm. The farm is an integral part of Fort Mill's history, and generations of families have included it in their own traditions.
"My family is from Rock Hill, so they always came to the Peach Stand," says Jerrica John, who works at the Old Peach Stand, built in 1938.
Sixteen peach pickers will work through the summer to harvest approximately 100 acres of the sweet, juicy fruit. "We ease in where we can, where there's open land," says Edwards of the numerous plots of trees.
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One such plot is just off Market Street in Baxter.
"The Close family are very green-minded," Edwards says of the orchards' owners. "This orchard will be here for a long time. They decided to keep it here, so you see it on the way into town."
Despite the drought, this season looks promising after last year's crop was destroyed by a frost.
"There are three areas we can water and other than that we just depend on Mother Nature," according to Edwards. Due to the dry spring, the peaches got a slow start, but are now rolling in by the basketful.
Currently available are the Garnet Beauty, Ruby Prince and Gala peach varieties. In addition, a bounty of salsas, sauces, jams, chutneys, dressings and ciders are also for sale. Other fruits and vegetables will find their way onto the racks throughout the season, so stop by often to see what is fresh.
Redhaven peaches are now being harvested and will be followed by Georgia Belle - an annual favorite - at the end of the month and then Encore in August.
To pick up a basket of peaches, visit the Old Peach Stand or the Peach Stand, both on Hwy. 160 West, or the Farm Market on Springfield Parkway. For more information, to order peaches or to check out when your favorite variety will be ripe, call 548-3939 or visit www.SpringsFarm.com.