Pearson Farm is Georgia's gift that keeps on giving, and now more than just the locals can enjoy their freshly picked peaches.
Growing up in Fort Valley, Georgia, Stephen Rose thought all peaches were as gloriously sweet and juicy as the kind grown down the road at Pearson Farm.
The Pearsons were family friends, so Stephen spent many of his childhood days at the farm enjoying peach ice cream. "It was summer in a small town, and that was what you did," he says. But it wasn't until he was an adult living in Nashville that he realized that Pearson peaches weren't the norm; they were the delicious exception.
Tender, super-juicy, skin-on, ready-to-eat peaches depend on many factors: trees, mineral-rich clay soil, extremely hot weather—all of which can be found in Fort Valley. Add in experienced pickers and the knowledge gained from five generations of farming the same land, and you reap sweet rewards—that is if nature cooperates, of course. Al Pearson, the current patriarch at the helm (his son, Lawton, became a partner in 2008), says that even after many years of planting and picking, a good harvest still seems like a miracle. "Peaches really are stressful to grow, but it's in our blood," says Al.
When Stephen took his wife, Jessica, back home for her first Pearson Farm peach, it was an eye-opener for her too. Determined to bring this natural goodness back to Nashville, the couple teamed up with the Pearsons to launch The Peach Truck, named for the 1964 Jeep the Roses use to deliver and sell tree-ripened peaches. And it's obvious Music City adores the Georgia gems as much as Pearson Farm's hometown fans do. Since 2012, the Roses have sold over 4.5 million pounds of peaches (they now ship nationwide) and earned a cult following among the farmers' market faithful and Southern chefs alike.
WATCH: Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
The Peach Truck sells about 40 kinds of peaches, including the iconic Elberta and the fragrant White Lady, but don't ask Al or Stephen to choose a favorite, because they will give the same answer: "The one in my hand." Once you eat their peaches, either out of hand or in one of the recipes Stephen shared with us, we think you'll agree.