knoxville news
knoxville news entertainment rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices travel knoxville sports business knoxville daily sun lifestyle food knoxville daily sun advertising about knoxville daily sun

It’s peach-picking time in South Carolina?
By Tom Adkinson
June 2, 2023

social media share facebook share twitter share

boudin capital of the world
Three locations of Sara’s Fresh Market send travelers on their way with fresh peaches, peach preserves, peach bread and farm produce. Image from Old 96 Tourism District

RIDGE SPRING, S.C. – Everybody knows that Georgia is the Peach State, right? Why else would traditionalists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Doc Watson and Bill Monroe have sung “Peach-Pickin’ Time in Georgia,” and why else do images of peaches adorn Georgia license plates?

Maybe Georgia deserved the recognition back in the day, but today, a single South Carolina farm produces more peaches than the entire state of Georgia.

That peach spread (pun intended) is Titan Farms, all 6,000 acres and 1 million peach trees of it. It covers 15 square miles at Ridge Spring. Visiting provides a glimpse at its massive operation and sweetens the experience with peach ice cream and other peachy treats. Although huge, Titan Farms remains a family operation.

titan farms peaches
Titan Farms, the largest peach producer on the East Coast, could fill bags of South Carolina peaches stretching to the horizon. Image from Old 96 Tourism District

“We’re not your traditional family farm, but we’re my family farm,” declared Lori Anne Carr. She and her husband, Chalmers, are the hands-on owners of this peach kingdom near I-20 between Columbia and Aiken. It’s a star in a tourism region in the western part of the state called the Old 96 District

Titan Farms is where you can learn about the fuzzy fruit with so many uses and a world-encircling history. Chinese cultivated peaches 3,000 years ago, and peaches’ popularity spread west to Russia, Persia, Greece and Europe. You can thank Spanish colonists for bringing them to North America.

Peaches’ popularity helped Titan Farms become the East Coast’s largest producer. There is a “sideline” operation with 1,000 acres of broccoli and 600 acres of bell peppers, both with two crops a year.

titan farms peach tree
Titan Farms uses modern science to manage the health and productivity of 1 million peach trees. Image from Old 96 Tourism District

Growing peaches is complex and scientific these days. The process goes far beyond planting trees and waiting. Titan Farms uses a web-based irrigation system, radio signals, weather stations and soil moisture probes to determine precise water and fertilizer application to grow several varieties. Among them are Harvester, Blazed Prince, Scarlet Prince, Summer Gold and O’Henry.

Each requires constant monitoring, sort of like checking on that peach cobbler so you can take it out of the oven at just the right time.

While cultivation is interesting, nutrition is, too. A 60-calorie medium peach has no fat or cholesterol and delivers vitamins A and C, mostly in the skin.

titan farms peach ice cream
Whether from Sara’s Fresh Market or any other source, peach ice cream is a South Carolina summer treat. Image from Old 96 Tourism District

Titan Farms operates three Sara’s Fresh Market retail locations. One is at the farm in Ridge Spring, another is at Trenton and the third is in Aiken.

Sara’s Fresh Market is where you can savor homemade peach ice cream and load up on jellies, jams, dressings, sauces, peach bread, peach fritters and peach salsa. You get the idea. As a bonus, there are arrays of Titan Farms bell peppers and broccoli, plus watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes and fruits and vegetables from other local growers.

Trip-planning resources: and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available on The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is included in the third edition of the book, which is available at

knoxville daily sun

Knoxville Daily Sun
2023 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy