South Carolina Peach FestivalSouth Carolina Peach Festival
The South Carolina Peach Festival begins in Gaffney as a salute to the peach industry with a kick-off at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, 225 S. Limestone St., featuring delicious peach dessert contest and a live band. A pet dog contest starts the afternoon at the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum at 301 S Johnson St.
Thursday evening is New Talent Night at Fullerton Auditorium of Limestone College. Friday offers a Golf Tournament and the beginning of the Family Fest downtown at noon in Gaffney through Saturday until 5pm including Carnival Rides, Arts and Crafts, lots of Food Vendors and Commercial Vendors.
At the Family Fun Fest for your musical enjoyment, there will be area bands playing a variety of music. BBQ Cook-Off and Corn Hole competitions will be held on Saturday. Saturday begins early with 7:30 a.m. Road Races through historic Gaffney immediately followed at 10:00 a.m. with the SC Peach Festival Parade. Saturday evening concert at Lake Welchel features prominent music artists for the Peach Jam.
A Peach Festival Beauty Pageant is held on Friday at Fullerton Auditorium at Limestone College. Entry forms and information is available on the website. The SC Peach Festival is bringing back the Mud Bog on Saturday at Lake Whelchel.
Entry forms and more information for all events will be available on the SC Peach Festival website. There's something for everyone to enjoy at this year's festival!
Peach Rivalry Becomes War Between the TastesPeach Rivalry Becomes War Between the Tastes
By KIM SEVERSON JULY 27, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. — The South has plenty of rivalries. Auburn and Alabama fight over football dominance. North Carolina and Tennessee battle over barbecue.
And then there is Georgia, which is getting kicked to the curb by South Carolina over the fruit that defines its very identity.
For more than 100 years, since Georgia first began shipping peaches beyond its borders, the state has claimed the fruit as its own.
An image of the peach is on the official state quarter and its license plates. In Atlanta, where a giant peach drops from a downtown building each New Year’s Eve, a driver can get lost among all the streets with variations on the name Peachtree.
But here is the harsh truth: South Carolina has shipped out more than twice as many peaches as Georgia so far this summer. And it has been that way for years.
It gets worse. At the end of July, the University of Georgia will officially close its peach program. The head peach horticulturist left the job a couple of years ago. When budgets tightened recently, university officials decided to simply eliminate the position altogether. (Programs for blueberries and vegetables had to go, too.)
The Peachoid water tower stands beacon in Gaffney, S.C. Credit Andy McMillan for The New York Times
And if that was not enough, last week Georgia’s premier peach farmers had to head across the state line to South Carolina for a regional peach conference.
“Georgia may be the peach state, but we’re the tastier peach state,” said Desmond R. Layne, an associate professor at Clemson University and the man who arranged the conference, which included a tasting of 40 varieties of peaches grown in his state.
The Georgia peach farmers, grim-faced beneath their John Deere caps, sat in the auditorium unmoved by the enthusiasm of their South Carolina counterparts. Quantity, they said, cannot replace quality.
“They’re trying to make it up in volume but they can’t best us,” said Will McGehee of Pearson Farm, pointing out that South Carolina’s nights are too cool for truly great peaches.
“The key to a good peach is a hot night,” Mr. McGehee said. “What makes it miserable for humans makes it perfect for peaches.”
Georgia began its peach dominance as the South rebuilt itself after the Civil War. In the late 1800s, the state began shipping the Elberta — a firm, yellow-fleshed peach named for a farmer’s wife — to New York and other East Coast cities.
But by the 1950s, South Carolina had taken over as the biggest peach-producing state. Now, although quantities have dropped, it ships 90,000 tons a year compared with Georgia’s 40,000 tons, according to United States Department of Agriculture statistics. (New Jersey follows with 32,000 tons.)
Georgia peach farmers have been fighting back, focusing on what they argue is a superior flavor that can come only from the unique mix of heat and red clay soil in their state.
They have taken to marketing the Georgia peach as an exclusive and seasonal item. They have even resorted to the mascot, paying someone to dress like a seven-foot peach named “Big Fuzzy.”
The brand appears to have an edge, at least among Internet users. Searches for “Georgia peaches” have outpaced those for “South Carolina peaches” by nearly 20 percent since 2004, said Sandra Heikkinen of Google.
So who really grows the best peach? In this good-natured rivalry, there may be no real way to judge. Plenty of variables determine what makes the kind of peach that drenches your hand and tastes exactly like summer. Rain, heat and soil conditions all play a part, as does the variety planted and the time from the tree to the eater’s mouth.
Georgia's long-held identity as a peach-growing capital is reflected in its license plates. Credit Andy McMillan for The New York Times
“I honestly don’t think you can taste a difference,” said Josh Tanner, the produce coordinator for Whole Foods stores in the South. “There is a lot of state pride and that’s what it’s about.”
But even Georgia natives have their doubts.
Peach Mountain ObservatoryThe History of the Peach Mountain Observatory
by Dave Snyder
Revised: September 2014
The 26 meter radio dish. Mark Bialek took this image on the night of June 29, 2011 from the observing field between the radio dishes... during the exposure Mark illuminated the dish with a red flashlight, for this artistic shot! (Photo by Mark Bialek).
When the Portage Lake Observatory was first opened, another tract of land a half mile to the west had been reserved for the Astronomy Department. However it was not until 1955 that this land was used. First a 8.54 meter radio dish and subsequently a 26 meter radio dish were built. Eventually the 8.54 meter dish was turned off (it still exists at its original location, but has been unused for years). The control building for this dish is still in use, however it no longer controls a radio telescope. The 26 meter dish is still in use.
The 24” telescope from the McMath-Hulbert Observatory was transferred to a new building that was constructed about 700 feet from the old 8.54 meter dish. The Astronomy Department subsequently decided it had no use for the building or the telescope, and the department allowed an amateur astronomy group known as the University Lowbrow Astronomers to use the telescope. After some effort in refurbishing and adding new equipment, the Lowbrows started a program of regular open houses that continue to this day.
An chronology of events follows:
•1955 - A 8.54 meter radio dish was constructed.
•1958 - A 26 meter radio dish was constructed (though the 8 meter dish was still used, at least for a while).
•1958 - The 24” telescope from the McMath-Hulbert Observatory is dismantled in preparation to being moved.
•1958-1959 - An observatory building is constructed about 700 feet from the 26 meter radio telescope. Unlike the typical observatory with a dome, this building has a roof that can be moved. In the closed position the telescope is protected from the elements, in the open position, the roof is out of the way and the telescope can take observations. See photographs taken during construction.
•1959 - The 24” telescope is reassembled within this building. The original polar axis was replaced by a larger and stiffer axis built in the observatory shop.
•Circa 1979 - After several years of research work, the University no longer has a need for the optical telescope. The Department of Astronomy agrees to give access to a newly formed group of amateur astronomers known as the University Lowbrow Astronomers. The Department still owns the land, but operation and maintenance of the telescope are now the responsibility of the Lowbrows. After the Lowbrows start using the telescope, they refurbish it, and over the years add several pieces of equipment including a Telrad, an NGC-Max and a 6” refractor which was permanently mounted on the side of the 24” telescope. The 26 meter radio dish is still in use.
•After 2010, the Astronomy Department ceased operations at Peach Mountain (they still have access to telescopes in Arizona and other parts of the world). The Department of Aerospace Engineering (also at the University of Michigan) is in the process of upgrading the radio telescope. When the upgrades are complete, it will be used to communicate with artificial satellites. For information about the upgrade, see this PDF document (a handout given during a tour of the facility on September 18, 2014): The Peach Mountain Observatory.
The photograph above shows another view of the 26 meter dish. The control building is easier to see in this photo. Note that the orientation of the dish is different in this photograph than it was in the previous photograph; the orientation changes over time so the telescope can image different targets. Unlike an optical telescope, a radio telescope can operate day or night and is not affected by clouds or rain.
The 8.54 meter dish
The 8.54 meter dish is next to a small building (the dish and the building are shown in the photograph above). Originally the building was used to control the small dish and record data. The dish was decommissioned years ago, but the building has been used for a variety of purposes. The Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences has used the building for research on aurora. The building is currently used by the Astronomy Department as a dark sky observatory for astronomy students (the building holds some telescopes which are used in the nearby field) and by the Physics Department to conduct measurements on night sky brightness levels (the building contains an all-sky camera which can make measurements once per second all night long). The night sky measurements may give information on light pollution which has been a steadily increasing problem even in locations such as Peach Mountain.
Peach Lake, New YorkPeach Lake, New York
Location in Putnam County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 41°21′49″N 73°34′28″WCoordinates: 41°21′49″N 73°34′28″W
Peach Lake is a hamlet (and census-designated place) located mostly in the town of Southeast in Putnam County, New York; a portion of the CDP is in the town of North Salem in Westchester County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,629.
The community of Peach Lake is located on the northeast side of a lake with the same name. The lake itself is in two counties. The community is south of Interstate 84.
Peach Lake is in two towns (North Salem and Southeast) and two counties (Westchester and Putnam). Peach Lake was originally farmed by several families. On the west side of the lake were the Bloomer and Palmer families, on the north side the Ryder family in the town of Southeast, and the Vail family were on the east side of the lake.
Prior to 1731, the eastern edge of the Bloomer farm was the border of Connecticut. The area from there to the current state border was given to New York as part of the OBLONG, EQUIVALENCY or Connecticut's Panhandle agreement.
The area was a strong dairy community from the 1850s through 1915, when the Borden Condensed Milk factory was in production in Brewster, New York. By 1915, the factory closed after New York City condemned much of the property along the rivers and lakes in the area to protect the water quality flowing into the newly created Croton Reservoir system.
The Bloomer family, originally from Rye, New York, started farming the property on the west side of the lake prior to 1760. In 1762 they purchased the land and built, along with the Palmer family, the Peach Lake Meeting House (Quaker Meeting house) at the southeast corner of the Lake. This Peach Lake meeting house, like many others starting at Long Island Sound and heading north, was built in the disputed area between the Connecticut and New York colonies called the Oblong.
The Vails family ran the dairy farm on the east side of the lake.
The Ryder family, who have for generations controlled the Putnam County National Bank, have farmed land on the northern end of Peach Lake since the 18th century.
North Salem was under the control of the Mohegans and more directly the Mohegan group called the Kitawonks, who laid claim to all the lands bordering the Kitchewan or Croton River that separates North Salem from present-day Somers. The lake and surrounding area was called Pechquenakonck by the Indian population. Dutch documents, such as Van der Donck’s 1656 History of New Netherland, mention the area. Other maps from Dutch archives, circa 1685, show the "Indian Tribes of the New World" and locations of Indian villages, including Pechquenakonck at Peach Lake. During 1600 and 1700s the lake was called Lake Pehquenakonck. Later it was called Peach Pond, which was a derivation of the Indian Pech-Quen. By the mid-1800s, the name was changed again to Peach Lake. The local middle school is called Pequenakonck (pronounced pee-kwon-a-konk), and the Country Club at Bloomerside Cooperative is called Pehquenakonck Country Club.
There are four large residential communities around Peach Lake. There are three cooperatives: Bloomerside and Vails after the original farming families, Pietsch Gardens Cooperative originally owned by the Pietsch family (purchased in 1926 from the Teagarden family) and Northern Westchester Country Club (aka Hotel Property) formerly owned by the Palmer family in the early 19th century. These four communities comprise approximately 460 homes which started as summer homes and communities about 1914.
Peach Lake is located at
41°21′49″N 73°34′28″W (41.363521, -73.574454).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), of which 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 11.76%, is water.
Peach Lake water body
The water body Peach Lake is located in the towns of North Salem and Southeast. The lake is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide at its center. It was created by springs in the ground, which built up over time. One can see the situation that confronted many of the early settlers by looking at the southernmost section of the lake, which, just below the surface of the water, is littered with many smaller rounded rocks.
Peach Lake drops to a depth of about 24 feet (7.3 m) at its deepest point. The western side of the lake is deeper than the eastern side, a happenstance of the final glacial gouging. A sharp thermocline is present at a depth of about 11 to 13 feet (3.4 to 4.0 m) where the water temperature may change 15 °F (−9 °C) within an inch. This thermocline protects the lake from excessive weed growth in areas of the lake that are deeper than the thermocline layer as it is simply too cold for the weeds to start growing. This temperature gradient is caused by the natural springs that feed the lake. There are no rivers entering the lake and only a very small intermittent stream on the southeastern corner.
The lake is a Class B reservoir for New York City and outflows north into the East Branch Reservoir in the town of Southeast which is part of the Croton Reservoir system.
Botanical name: Prunus persica
Plant type: Fruit
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7, 8
Sun exposure: Full Sun
Soil type: Sandy
Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Bloom time: Summer
Peaches are a well-known, delicious fruit that can be grown right at home. The trick to growing your very own peaches is to choose a type that will fit with your specific climate.
Peach trees can grow in USDA Zones 5 to 8, but do especially well in Zones 6 and 7.
If you live in one of these zones, you can focus on choosing a variety based on its flavor and harvest-time. If you live in colder regions, there are some varieties that are more cold tolerant that you can choose.
Choose a site with well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Be sure to avoid low areas because frost can more easily settle there and destroy your peaches.
Plant the trees in spring. It is best to plant the trees the day you get them (if possible). Pick a tree that is about 1 year old.
For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and remove any circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and using shears to cut through the roots.
For grafted trees, position the inside of the curve of the graft union away from the sun when planting.
Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them.
If you are planting standard-size trees, space them 15 to 20 feet apart. Space dwarf trees 10 to 12 feet apart. However, most types of peach trees are self-fertile, so planting one tree at a time is fine.
About 6 weeks after planting, fertilize the young trees with 1 pound of a nitrogen fertilizer.
During the second year, add 3/4 pound of nitrogen fertilizer once in the spring and once in the early summer.
After the third year, add about 1 pound of actual nitrogen per year to the mature trees in the spring.
To help make the tree hardier, do not fertilize it within 2 months of the first fall frost date or when the fruits are maturing.
Be sure to prune the tree to an open center shape. In the summer of the first year, cut the vigorous shoots that form on the top of the tree by two or three buds. After about a month, check the tree. As soon as you have three wide-angled branches, spaced equally apart, cut back any other branches so that these three are the main branches. In the early summer of the second year, cut back the branches in the middle of the tree to short stubs and prune any shoots developing below the three main branches. After the third year, remove any shoots in the center of the tree to keep its shape.
Be sure to prune the tree annually to encourage production. Pruning is usually done mid to late April. Pinching the trees in the summer is also helpful.
Prune and fertilize to accomplish 10-18 inches of new growth each season.
Thin the fruits so that they are 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch after the tree blooms (about 4 to 6 weeks). This ensures that the fruits will be larger.
A plastic lean-to can protect fan-trained peach trees from peach leaf curl and frost in the winter.
To help increase resistance to fruit diseases, be sure to prune the trees, thin the fruit, and pick the fruit when it is ripe.
Harvest your peaches when they are fully ripe, meaning that there is no green left on the fruit. They should come off the tree with only a slight twist. The fruits found on the top and outside of the tree usually ripen first.
Be careful when picking your peaches because some varieties bruise very easily.
You can store peaches in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. They should keep for about 5 days.
You can also store peaches by making jam or by making pickled peaches.
Peaches can also be canned or kept frozen for storage.
'Redhaven', which is the standard and most popular choice. These peaches are medium-size, but can be small if the tree is not properly thinned. Its skin is tough and firm and red in color.
'Reliance', which is a hardy variety. It produces small and soft fruits.
'Harmony' ('Canadian Harmony'), which is winter hardy and moderately resistant to bacterial leaf spot. It produces medium to large fruit and freezes well.
Some zone favorites are:
Hale Madison Saturn Contender Frost Topaz Florida Beauty
Although peaches are native to the Chinese countryside, the peach was brought to the western world from Iran.
Peaches ripen faster in a closed paper bag at room temperature.
Test buds of peaches and other sensitive fruits for freeze damage. Bring in a few twigs cut from the trees and place them in a vase of water. If the twigs bloom in a week or two, expect blossoms in the spring and a crop the following fall.
20 Peach Facts20 interesting facts about peaches you might not know
1.Peach is good for digestion and it has a diuretic effect - you can eat these fruits to cleanse your kidneys and bladder.
2.It has a natural soothing effect: peach can even help to calm a sour stomach.
3.It is an ideal snack between meals – eating a peach can give you the feeling of being full, so you will eat less; great for losing weight (one peach contains about 35-50 calories and not fat at all).
4.Contains many vitamins (A/B/C), magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium: so it is not only good for the digestive system, but for the well-being of muscles, the heart and bones, too.
5.Because of the above mentioned A and C vitamins in this fruit, it is a great moisturizer and a natural cure for refreshing the skin; therefore it is often used in cosmetics.
6.Peach can even have a positive effect on our scalp and it is able to reduce hair loss.
7.It is a good stress-reliever, helps to reduce anxiety – it is often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in Hungary.
8.Peach can be used as an aphrodisiac too.
9.According to research peach has a positive effect in preventing cancer (as it contains selenium).
10.In Roman times, people thought peach originated from Persia – its scientific latin name also reflects this: ‘Prunus persica ’. Peaches were often called as ‘Persian Apples ’.
11.In fact this fruit originates from China and they were introduced to the West through Persia.
12.In China this fruit is a symbol of good luck, protection and longevity.
13.This fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds.
14.August is the National Peach Month in the USA since 1982.
15.The peach tree is often considered to be the tree of life.
16.Colombus brought several peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.
17.The first peach orchard in the USA was established in Florida in 1565.
18.Georgia is also known as the Peach State, as there are many orchards, although California produces about 50% of all peaches in the USA.
19.On the world, China is the biggest producer of peaches and Italy is the second.
20.Although the peach pit contains hydrocyanic acid which is a poisonous substance in a bigger amount, an adult is safe to eat 1-2 seeds acquired from the pits of the peaches they ate before (100g a day is considered to be dangerous and one peach seed weights about 10g). But as it does not taste too good, barely any people eat these. More info here.
Peach RosesPeach Roses
Peach roses are so delicate and yet so charming. Their main attraction is their simple elegance and breathe-taking beauty. The symbolic significance of peach roses is as engaging as their elegant beauty. The soft peach hue in a rose is fast gaining in popularity, and is now widely loved by many.
The first and most obvious meaning of the pale peach rose is modesty. The pale peach color is indicative of the soft blush on a virgin's face, and the color speaks of demureness, purity and innocence. A bashful modesty that needs to be expressed, the delicate feelings of constraint and reserve are well denoted by the peach rose.
While orange roses celebrate new beginnings, pale peach roses celebrate the closing of a deal. When things have gone beautifully well, and reached their natural closing, pale peach roses grace the table. Peach roses are therefore a symbol of harmony, peace and great cheer. Peach roses are used to express the geniality and cheer of a get together.
Sincerity is another noble sentiment expressed by peach roses. The clarity of the color of the rose, its grace and beauty together instill a sense of complete genuineness. When you need to emphasize the earnestness of your gesture send some pale peach roses. Their gentle yet pleasing color can also be sent as an expression of sympathy.
Peach roses are indicative of gratitude and thankfulness also. When the affection you seek to express is genuine warmth that has no tinge of love, use a peach rose. Their subtle, gorgeous blooms are ideal to say "thanks!" or to show how much you miss a dear friend. It shows that the receiver is much appreciated and that his or her efforts have been acknowledged with thankfulness.
The simple peach rose expresses sociability, friendliness, purity and innocence. This rose so delicate and dainty in its beauty delivers a simple message of genuine warmth and sincere thoughts. That is why social gatherings and friendly parties often sport these beautiful roses in abundance. Simply put, they are a celebration of the deep social instinct of man.
Color Quote of the Week!!!“I can remember exactly where I sat when my teacher first read Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach'.”
--Dave Eggers (author)
What do you think? What from your childhood are some moments that have really stuck with you? A particular family vacation? A special thing you did with a friend? A teacher reading a particular book?
For Dave Eggers, it was the latter kind of experience—a teacher reading to her students-- that proved to mark just such a special moment. He remembers even decades later exactly where he sat in his classroom, and if we asked him to, I bet he could provide even more detail about the scene. His attention must have truly been captivated. At some point, he became so interested in reading, writing and thinking about his own experiences that he has gone on to become a well-known author in his own right, noted in part for a memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) which recounted many additional events that influenced the trajectory of his life.
On the other side of the experience, what of Mr. Eggers’ long ago teacher? Here’ someone who probably thought she was simply doing her job—and probably doing it well--engaging in the activities so normal to the workings of a classroom. She could have had no idea that a simple reading of a book would prove to have so much influence on one of her students.
You never know what will end up being an important experience, and you never know what of what you say or do will make a difference. It’s important though to keep putting those sayings and doings out there. Something will land and will indeed bear fruit (perhaps even peaches), making someone’s life better in the process.
How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you could take in the next day (or so) on that basis?
Dealing with Difference
“One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that particular peach is but a detail.”
--Pablo Picasso (artist)
What does Picasso’s thought bring to mind for you? As is true to his calling, he’s talking about the act of painting; His observation could equally well apply to just about any situation you can think of. You know what you want to create or communicate, and you know why you want to do it. You are excited to put in the effort and you have set aside the time. Actually, you’ve got yourself going on a pretty good roll. Your vision is crystal clear—to you!
And that’s of course the catch. Picasso wants the central feature of his painting to concentrate on the peach. Others see the picture very differently, viewing the peach as a mere detail on a broader canvas.
Different perspectives. Different communication styles. Different interpretations even of the same situation. They’re aggravating, they’re frustrating, and they can drive you crazy. They can also, from a contrasting standpoint altogether, show us that there’s another side to the story too. In Picasso’s world of art, those mismatches in communication and interpretation are seen as natural and normal; putting that alternative spin on disagreements can certainly make it easier to take such opposing viewpoints in stride. Not to mention the benefits of putting ourselves in situations where we’re likely to learn to think differently and to expand our own ways of seeing things.
So when you’re feeling frustrated about a misunderstanding or a miscommunication, it might also be helpful to remember to enjoy the irony accompanying Picasso’s thought; “One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that particular peach is but a detail.”
And since peach is a color which asks us not to take things more seriously than we need to in our relationships, it encourages us to approach things with the same lightness and warmth.
How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you could take in the next day (or so) on that basis?