The peach will be the designated fruit of honor on Saturday, July 14, when the State Farmers Market in West Columbia, S.C., hosts Peach Day. Sponsored by the S.C. Peach Council and the S.C. Department of Agriculture, the day will include a designated time during which every visitor to the Farmers Shed at the Market will receive a free peach.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers says, "Be sure to visit the State Farmers Market all summer long to taste the best of South Carolina. Stop by the farmers sheds and retail and wholesale facilities at the State farmers Market and Buy Certified South Carolina."
There are over 200 million peaches produced in the state annually, and the value of the peach industry to the state's economy is $40 million.
The celebration is part of the 5th Anniversary of the Certified SC Grown program, during which the SCDA has been sponsoring a series of Summer Celebrations featuring local produce and products at the State Farmers Market. SCDA notes that buying Certified SC Grown Peaches "not only are the best tasting peaches available, but buying local also helps support our S.C. farmers."
SCDA points out that besides being sweet and tasty peaches are also packed with nutrition. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and contain fiber. The peaches are fat-free and sodium free.
Certified South Carolina Grown Peaches will be available throughout the state all summer long. Peach consumers can go online to locate the nearest roadside market that offers Certified S.C. Peaches by visiting the website www.certifiedscgrown.com.
The S.C. Peach Council informs consumers that peaches are temperature sensitive so consumers should keep them on a counter top at room temperature for them to ripen. A red blush does not necessarily indicate ripeness. Check for a fragrant aroma to judge ripeness.
Learn more about peaches including variety types at the S.C. Peach Council web page at http://agriculture.sc.gov/content.aspx?ContentID=656. The National Peach Council web page also maintains a list of educational resources at http://www.nationalpeachcouncil.org/