Learn to make West Egg’s fried pie using in-season peaches


Chattooga Belle Farm in Long Creek, South Carolina, is about 12 miles from Clayton, Georgia. There Ed Land and his wife Kitty have eight acres of fruit — orchards of peach, nectarine and apple trees and fields of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, muscadines, table and wine grapes.

“We started our farm in 2008. There was an abandoned apple orchard there and we saw the potential to put the property back into fruit production. We have a U-pick operation as well as a farm stand where people can buy fruit in season. It’s open seven days a week April to October,” said Land.

They also sell at Oconee County’s Heritage Market on Saturdays in season and furnish all the fresh apples used in the 16 schools of the Oconee County school system.

By late June, the peach harvest is in full swing and runs through to the end of August or first part of September. “We grow seven varieties of peaches. Every two weeks another variety comes in,” he said. The Lands have decided to stick with freestone varieties since that’s what their customers ask for.

Peaches are not their largest crop — compare their 220 peach trees with the 1,750 apple trees on the property — but they are an important part of the Lands’ plan for offering many kinds of fruit. “Diversification is the key to successful farming. You never want to depend on just one crop. We probably lost 30 percent of our peaches this spring because of the late frost. But that same frost didn’t affect our apples at all.”

The farm’s peach season starts with its earliest peach variety, Georgia Belle, followed by Contender, Reliance, Carolina Red and Big Red. They also grow the Fantasia nectarine.

As a farmer, Land is able to enjoy his peaches right off the tree. “When you bite into it and the peach juice runs down your elbow, you know it’s ready,” he says with a smile.

If you’re choosing peaches and don’t want to take a bite out of each one, Land suggests going by the color first. “Depending on the variety, you want a rosy peach or one that’s bright yellow. If there’s any green, it’s not ready to eat. When you get it home, you can leave it on the counter if you’re going to use it in a day or two, but if you want to keep your peaches for a longer period of time, we recommend putting them in the refrigerator. A peach melts away fast if you leave it sitting on the counter.”

And if you got carried away with your picking, or by the sight of that gorgeous basket of peaches at a farmers market, he says they freeze beautifully. “Peel them, slice them up and put them in a freezer bag. Add sugar then or after you take them out to thaw. Then make a peach pie, peach cobbler or some good homemade peach ice cream.”

For sale at local farmers markets

Just coming to market: ginger, tomatillos

Vegetables, fruits and nuts: arugula, Asian greens, beets, blackberries, blueberries, cabbage, carrots, chanterelles, chard, collards, corn, cornmeal, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, field peas, figs, garlic, green and pole beans, green onions, grits, herbs, kale, leeks, lettuce, Malabar spinach, melons, mushrooms, okra, onions, peaches, pecans, peppers, polenta, potatoes, spaghetti squash, summer squash, tomatoes

From local reports



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

Beer Town: Taste Jing-A Chinese craft beer at Double Dragon in Oakhurst
Beer Town: Taste Jing-A Chinese craft beer at Double Dragon in Oakhurst

Honey Walnut Shrimp and Wok Fried Long Beans paired with Jing-A Brewing beer at Double Dragon in Oakhurst. Photo credit: Fred Crudder. One of the side benefits of The Festival — the expansive international beer tasting presented in Atlanta in August by Shelton Brothers Importers —...
One of Atlanta’s favorite ice cream spots is saying thank you with free cream tonight
One of Atlanta’s favorite ice cream spots is saying thank you with free cream tonight

On the first day that it actually feels like fall in Atlanta, a chic gourmet ice cream shop wants to bring you back to summer  − with free ice cream, no less. Krog Street Market will offer free ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, 99 Krog St NE, Atlanta, as a part of its  KSM Appreciation Day between 5 and 7 tonight. Every...
Hungry? Another food hall is opening in Atlanta this year
Hungry? Another food hall is opening in Atlanta this year

Harry Pagancoss / Contributed photo Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market won’t be the only food hall games in town for long. Caravaca Market, a gourmet food hall from chef Harry Pagancoss, is set to open in late fall in Midtown. The 6,000 square-foot space at 782 Peachtree St. will feature a season “taste bar,” wine bar that will...
The new Atlanta Porsche hotel will have bars, restaurants to rev your engine over
The new Atlanta Porsche hotel will have bars, restaurants to rev your engine over

The Porsche Experience includes rides on their test track. / BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM There’ll soon be two new spots to fill up your tank near the airport. Solis Two Porsche Drive, the forthcoming Porsche hotel set to open next month , will feature dining and beverage concepts in addition to 24-hour in-room dining service. Located...
Simple pleasures are found in this restaurant’s sandwich near Georgia Tech
Simple pleasures are found in this restaurant’s sandwich near Georgia Tech

The Jessica Sandwich at Rocky Mountain Pizza Co. / Photo by Henri Hollis DISH OF THE WEEK: Simple Pleasure Found in Sandwich Near Georgia Tech By Henri Hollis In a world saturated with Buffalo chicken, the Jessica sandwich at Rocky Mountain Pizza Company stands out. Why? Mostly, because it doesn’t try too hard. The Jessica sandwich...
More Stories