A Tasty Heritage

Bolton Orchards, Circa 1945
courtesy of the Bolton Family

Peaches have been an important commercial crop in South Carolina dating all the way back to the mid 1800’s. The industry began to take off with the introduction of the railroad. Packing sheds were built right along the railway so that railcars could easily load the peaches up and ship them long distances before highways were even developed. South Carolina is now the number 2 producing state in the United States and the top state east of the Mississippi. This great accomplishment has contributed to the affection nickname of “The Tastier Peach State”. In fact, last year we produced over double the volume that Georgia is producing. You will not find a more passionate industry than the one within the culture of South Carolina peach growers. Many of them are third, fourth, and fifth generation growers which help contribute to the high quality of South Carolina peaches.

Peach production is an important segment of South Carolina’s largest industry- agriculture. Alone, the South Carolina peach industry grosses approximately $50-million annually to the state and employs over a thousand people. This figure does not reflect the money spent within the state and local communities by the peach industry towards other related industries such as trucking, equipment maintenance, paper products, chemicals, and marketing. The income value of the peach industry to other industries is an estimated $30-million value.

“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches.”

Thomas Walker

The communities surrounding peach farms also benefit from the industry’s influence. Farms and businesses help improve the economies of the surrounding rural communities. The jobs brought to South Carolina’s rural areas by peach farms help increase the community’s standard of living as well as reducing the unemployment rate.