National Peach Month is in August each year, and it is difficult to imagine summertime without this juicy summer fruit. Peach season begins in June and lasts until the end of August, and they say that August is when peaches are at their peak. The peach is a symbol of youth and immortality, as well as fertility and union (in Chinese culture); therefore many Chinese brides carry peach blossoms on their wedding days. Peach also makes a great wedding decor color scheme for brides the world over. Overall, the peach holds a special significance in Chinese culture, and the only true wild peaches can be found there, which are sour, smaller in size, and very fuzzy. There are over 700 varieties of peaches in the world today, including nectarines, which are a variant of peaches and not a cross between peaches and plums. Peaches and nectarines only differ in their skin texture — peaches are velvety, while nectarines are smooth. The fruit is classified as a drupe, which means it has a hard stone in the center, and there are two kinds of peaches — clingstone and freestone. The names themselves give you an accurate idea of how to differentiate between the two — either way, they make our lives peachier.
History of National Peach Month
Let peach be your theme, and may your days be just peachy as you gear up to celebrate National Peach Month this August. The tradition dates back to June 16, 1982, when President Ronald Reagan declared that August would officially be National Peach Month for health and nutritional reasons, no less, which we highly appreciate. Peaches are a rich source of Vitamin A and C and great for the gut too, so it makes perfect sense that President Reagan wanted them to be included in the American diet by promoting peaches through programs and activities all through the month; for there is much to celebrate in a month dedicated to peaches and all that is associated with them. Within this month itself, one can celebrate Eat a Peach Day on August 22 and National Peach Pie Day on August 24, and who doesn’t love a good food holiday? But before you reach for a slice of peach pie or sink your teeth into the fleshy goodness of the fruit itself, take a minute to learn something new about this mouth-watering fuzzy fruit.
The history of the peach can be traced all the way back to ancient China, in 6000 B.C. in the Zhejiang Province. Initially discovered in its wild form, the Chinese domesticated the fruit, and it became a luxury food, eaten by the emperors and served in royal circles only. Somehow, the Persians then got a hold of it, and it spread to the Persian Empire, with the Romans terming it as the Persian Apple. Thanks to Alexander the Great, Europe then got a taste of this fleshy fruit and by the 1500s, so did America, as Spanish explorers like Christopher Columbus introduced the fruit on American shores.
Today, China is actually the biggest producer of peaches globally (58%), with Italy following a close second. As for America, peaches are actually the third most popular fruit grown in the nation, and the U.S. supplies about a quarter of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches.
National Peach Month timeline
The first domesticated cultivars of wild peaches are cultivated in China’s Zhejiang Province.
Thanks to Spanish explorers, this juicy fruit lands on American soil and begins to take root.
The first peach tree is planted in Georgia, quickly earning it the nickname ‘The Peach State’ of America.
The commercial peach industry in America begins to accelerate in earnest as new varieties of peaches are created.
National Peach Month FAQs
How many years will a peach tree produce fruit?
On average, a peach tree can produce fruit for about 12 years. The tree should start bearing larger crops of fruit by the third or fourth year after planting, and it usually reaches peak production between eight to 12 years, after which it begins to decline.
Is July or August National Peach Month?
Peaches usually reach their peak from June till the end of August, which is why there is some debate about which month National Peach Month falls under. However, the common consensus is August, especially since that is when President Ronald Reagan declared it so.
What type of peach is the sweetest?
The peach that’s regarded as the sweetest is the darling little donut peach.
National Peach Month Activities
Attend a peach festival
Clearly, we aren’t the only ones excited about National Peach Month, since all over North America, there are various peach festivals, which occur this time of year. Why not check out a peach festival this month, and to whet your appetite, we bring you a few suggestions: the Penticton Peach Festival, the Winona Festival, the Virginia Peach Festival, and the Palisade Peach Festival.
Satisfy your sweet tooth
Where do we even begin when it comes to listing out the million and one ways in which peaches can satisfy every kind of sweet craving by starring in myriad desserts. If you need ideas to start you off, you have only to look at some of the other national food holidays like Peach Melba Day, Peach Ice-Cream Day, Peach Cobbler Day, Peaches, and Cream Day. So without further ado, don that apron and get your family to “peach” in too!
Read peach-themed literature
There is a world of peach-themed literature out there for kids and adults alike. Whether you want to revisit a childhood classic like “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl or try some new ones out like “Peach,” by Emma Glass, “Eat a Peach: A Memoir,” by David Chang, and “Each Peach Pear Plum,” by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg (for little ones learning to read)
5 Important Facts About Peaches
World’s largest peach cobbler
Every year, the world’s largest peach cobbler is made in Georgia, measuring a good 11 ft. by 5 ft.
“You’re a real peach”
This popular phrase originated from the tradition of giving the friend you liked most a peach.
The largest peach in the world is located in Gaffney, South Carolina, and weighs over 10,000 pounds.
12 years a peach
The average peach tree produces fruit for 12 years and can be harvested multiple times in the same season.
Peaches can actually come in three different colors — yellow, white, and red.
Why We Love National Peach Month
Fruit is at the forefront
It’s time for fruit to get the appreciation they so rightly deserve, considering how fruits are pretty much great for us in every way! Peaches are packed with vitamin C and A, as well as being a great source of fiber, so it comes as no surprise that we want to celebrate them all month long. Not to mention how great peaches are in desserts.
More than the fruit
Going beyond just the fruit, this month can also celebrate the color peach, or what peaches represent in different cultures and literature. There is so much to explore relating to peaches, the color peach, peach flowers, and the peach tree itself — especially in the realm of cosmetics, folklore, spirituality, and even dream symbolism!
Pop cultural allusions
Peaches are everywhere — not just in myriad forms for consumption, but also in songs, books, art, and all other forms of pop culture the world over. From the song ‘Peaches’ by Justin Bieber to the peach getting its emoji and being used to allude to many different things, peaches rule the world apparently.
National Peach Month dates