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Bites Nearby: Thomas Orchards, Greenhouse and Gift Shop

Each week we'll tell you about a nearby restaurant or food business that serves up delicious food and focuses on eating local.

can fulfill all of your “peach” needs. From the first Dixiered cling peaches that come in the middle of June to the Ruston Red Elberta, Redskin Elberta, Fay Elberta and Georgia Belle freestones available from the latter part of July to the Monroe, O’Henry and Big Red freestones available the middle of August, Thomas’ has them all. The smell of fresh-picked peaches makes it hard to resist buying a bucket the minute you walk in the door. Thomas Orchards knows peaches, but they also have a gracious plenty of other seasonal produce to take home.

In operation in Oconee County since the late 1800s, Thomas Orchards remains a mainstay of the area. Locals and travelers looking for a relaxing rest stop will both be greeted with the same brand of Southern hospitality. They invite you to feel right at home, whether you sit on the porch and put your feet up or walk your pet on the grounds. The "Fresh peach ice cream, homemade daily” sign beckons children and adults alike. Or, you can try one of several other flavors of the homemade frozen treat. The gift shop features unique gifts and gourmet food items, including jams, jellies, sorghum, honey and peach salsa. The nursery was started in 1996 and customers are free to wander through the greenhouses and explore the large selection of plants.

The folks at Thomas Orchards won’t forget you when apple season arrives in the fall. From the Gala, Red Delicious and Gold Delicious apples that come in the first part of September to the Fuji and Mutsu available the first part of October to the Pink Lady and Gold Rush available the first part of November, you can find them all here. The living is easy and the crops are good year-round at Thomas Orchards.

6091 Macon Hwy., Bishop. 706-769-5011. March 1 to December 22: Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 2 to February 28: Open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pricing: Reasonable.

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