Lauren Bolden, Pie Bar
If you are from Georgia or have spent any time here, your life has been impacted by nature's sweetest fruit -- the peach. Being in Georgia, we have peach everything: peach pie, peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach peaches, and so on. It is our state fruit. It is our summertime alarm clock, letting us know that it is time to enjoy the bounty of our harvest. The peach is nature's way of rewarding us for enduring all other seasons..peaches are thanking us for suffering through winter until we could reach peach season.
My love affair with the peach did not start until I was 12 years old. I grew up in Tennessee, and to be frank, the peaches suck there. They are mealy and stupid. They do not possess the qualities of a true peach. When we moved to Georgia, we met a older man named Mr. Robinson. He was kind and gentle, and lived on the other side of our back fence. Mr. Robinson also had a small farm. He would bring us peanuts, and muscadines, and peaches. I avoided the peaches. Eventually all the peanuts and muscadines would be gone, and we would be left with the peaches.
In an effort to preserve our new found friend's feelings, we agreed..we must suffer through the peaches. I extended my arm out, and picked one up from the basket where they rested. 'Interesting' I thought....they are softer to the touch, different from the rock hard peaches back in Tennessee. I flexed my fingers and slowly brought the peach to my mouth. I reluctantly bit in. The juice flowed down my chin like estuaries leading out to sea. The flavors were the perfect symphony of summer and sweet. I could practically taste the sun. This is what summer is supposed to taste like. This is what a peach is supposed to taste like. I was forever changed.
I then ate all of the peaches and my Mom got mad at me.
Moving forward from that day, peaches became something to look forward to. Every summer I would wait in great anticipation for Mr. Robinson to bring us peaches. Although it has been many years and many peaches since I would meet Mr. Robinson at the back fence and talk about farming and our shared love of Georgia's favorite fruit, I can still say that every summer I wait with the anticipation that only a peach could create.
When we opened our pie shop, we knew, peach pie is a must. Unfortunately, Mr. Robinson has passed away and could not be our peach maverick this time around, so we needed somewhere to turn. I remembered a great peach house not far from Macon, Georgia where I spent some time with a friend. We sat on the farm's front porch, ate peach ice cream, and admired a little white church across the street, where a wedding party was getting into formation. This was Dickey Farms. Fast forward a few years, and I had the pleasure of working with the daughter of said farm family, and the deal was sealed. Pie Bar would use Georgia Peaches, Dickey Farm peaches to be exact.
Each peach pie is filled with fruit of a Georgia family farm's labor. 7 cups of said fruit, to be exact. The flavor of a truly good peach is such that only a little bit of sugar, spice, and (of course) butter is needed to make an outstanding peach pie. We are 1 month in, and have 1 month left of farm to pie peaches, and we hope you have the opportunity to taste the sun.
If not..there is always next year.
Photo Creds: Dickey Farms