At 87 years, S.C.'s peaches are due to be ripe this year, loaded with history

Flickr user rorris

You've probably heard that this year's peach crop is likely to be large and sweet. And you've probably heard that South Carolina trumps Georgia — the "Peach State" — in peach production.

But, as you might guess, there's a lot more to South Carolina's peach crop, and  Margaret O'Shea, writing for South Carolina Farmer Magazine, is ready to share it.

In part:

[Peaches are] the silver lining in the cloud that threatened produce farmers in the 1920s, when bad weather and competition put a major dent in the asparagus market. Back then, tiny Monetta in the fertile area that South Carolinians call "the Ridge" was known as the asparagus capital of the world, but the title was teetering.

Joe H. Watson, who'd been first to plant asparagus there in 1918, was also first to draw a line in the sand when that market began to dwindle. His exact words were not preserved but they were something like this: "Y'all, we've got to shift gears."

Take a read of the full piece over here.