Lane Southern Orchards
Visitors will find the true meaning of Southern hospitality at Lane Southern Orchards , where Georgia's most famous product, the Georgia Peach, is harvested and processed in a state-of-the-art facility only five short minutes from I-75.
Lane Southern Orchards, a fourth generation family operation, farms more than 2,500 acres of peach trees and 2,000 acres of pecans. Located right outside of Fort Valley, the Lanes grow more than 30 varieties of peaches. But their facility is much more than a packing shed ... it is a destination.
Visitors are invited to view the breathtakingly beautiful Peach blossoms March 1-15 each year and are welcome to return in mid-May to view the entire packing process from a series of elevated platforms which allow access to the entire facility. Self-guided tours are available free of charge mid-May through mid-August and it takes about 30 minutes to see the process of peaches coming in from the fields in giant bins until they are washed, cleaned, graded, labeled, packed into boxes and loaded onto trucks for delivery all of the country.
For groups of 20 or more, the Lanes suggest that you call in advance to set up a date and time. Individuals can take the self-guided tour at anytime during the day. However, due to the nature of the peach crop, there is no guarantee the packing line will run every day.
Another feature of this interactive farm is a riding tram tour through the peach and pecan orchards. Tickets are $5 each and tour guides will explain the history of the peach industry in Georgia as well as how these crops are grown and harvested. Tours last approximately 30 minutes and are available May through August only. Call in advance for group reservations.
The Lanes also offer a guided strawberry tour for school groups. Tour guides explain how strawberries are grown and each student gets to pick a pound of berries and enjoy a cup of fresh strawberry ice cream.
A class photo is sent back with the teachers to display in the classroom and a strawberry coloring book is sent home with each child. Tickets are $5 each.
In addition to the tours, Lane Southern Orchards also has the Peachtree Cafe, the Just Peachy Gift Shop and a large roadside market.
Lunch is served daily at the Peachtree Cafe from a menu featuring barbecue, made-to-order sandwiches and homemade chicken and tuna salad. On the light side, the care offers a fresh soup and salad bar daily. During the winter they serve a daily hot meal special.
Dessert is a virtual culinary experience and dishes include homemade peach cobbler, pecan pie, strawberry or butter pecan ice cream, and, of course, homemade peach ice cream.
The Peachtree Cafe has hosted Red Hat Clubs, Sunday School classes, school class reunions, wedding receptions, baby showers, retirement parties, business meetings and family reunions. Seating is available for 154 guests inside the air conditioned cafe and 44 more guests are accomodated on the canopy porch overlooking the orchards. The facility also features an outdoor covered pavilion with picnic tables seating 100.
The Just Peachy Gift Shop features a distinctive collection of gifts and keepsakes with a southern flair. From candles to cookbooks and a wide selection of collegiate and souvenir items, everything in this shop is Just Peachy!
Lane Southern Orchards Roadside Market is a reminder of simpler times, before modern supermarkets and flash frozen vegetables became the norm. This market features the highest quality producce grown on the Lane farm. Choose from locally grown, farm fresh produce including tomatoes, butterbeans, peas, asparagus, Vidalia onions and silver queen corn when in season. The market also offers Peach and Vidalia Onion products including jams, jellies, preserves, sauces, and salad dressings.
Lane Southern Orchards hosts a big Fourth of July barbecue celebration each year and the pecan harvest gets into full swing in November and continues through January.
Visit the Lane Southern Orchards website for more information.