Letter to the Editor
The Peach State?
To the editor:
We live in a territory of the United States referred to as “The Peach State.” Ever wonder why? According to history buffs, during the 16th century Franciscan monks introduced peaches to St. Simons and Cumberland Island; these monks are not to be confused with monks living in a Monastery on Highway 212 in Conyers. Albeit, by the 18th-century peaches became a staple of the Cherokees in North Georgia. In 1851, Columbus planter Raphael Moses, not to be confused with Moses of “Burning Bush” celebrity, became the first farmer to market peaches outside the South.
Cotton as a staple faded after the Civil War obliging Georgia farmers to seek an alternative crop. Peach production soon skyrocketed. Georgia peaches had superior flavor, texture and appearance, plus were rich in nutrients. By 1928, Georgia produced over 8 million bushels annually, a surge in production which gave rise to the nickname, “The Peach State.” With the speed of a snail crossing an acre of peanut butter, Georgia legislators ultimately recognized the peach as our official state fruit on April 7, 1995.
Georgia also grows a lot of peanuts. “Goober” being an old word for peanut, and known as the state’s official crop, not fruit, gave rise to another moniker, “The Goober State.” Fortunately, no athletic team has adopted the nickname, such as the University of Georgia Goobers.
Also known as “The Empire State of the South,” the nickname is not much in favor among many diehard Rebels since New York and Georgia don’t speak the same language.
Thus ends my history lesson on Georgia’s nickname, “The Peach State.” Moving forward, my red van in the driveway is yellow. My lawn chairs, deck table and concrete patio are yellow. If my dogs remain in the backyard too long, they, too, turn yellow.
I suggest we approach our state representatives to consider a new official nickname for Georgia, “The Pollen State.” Considering the time it took for the peach to be recognized as the official nickname, we may see “The Pollen State” become a reality by the year 2095.
What say you?