Dickey Farms has been growing peaches in the heartland of Georgia for more than 120 years. The Dickey growers are part of a multi-generational legacy with experience being handed down from one generation to the next.
Dickey Farms is home to Georgia’s oldest, continuously operating peach packing house. Robert L. (Mr. Bob) Dickey built the packinghouse in 1936 with lumber from his own land. Today, the long white building is a prominent landmark in historic Musella, Georgia. At the time of construction, the packing house was ideally located near rail lines for better transportation to the peach-hungry North.
Mr. Bob was an early pioneer of multi-tasking, being a postmaster, undertaker, depot agent and general store manager. Today, the general store is still located across the packing house. However, his heart was in the peach industry, and the family reaps the rewards today.
In the early days of Dickey Farms, mules were used to plow the orchards and to transport peaches to the packing house. At that time, most of the work was done manually. However, Mr. Bob was a forward-thinker, always wanting to introduce labor saving equipment. He installed Georgia’s very first brushing machine to remove the peach fuzz. He was also one of the first producers to include a hydro-cooling system that places peaches in 35-degree water to remove field dust and slow the ripening process, making them perfect when reaching the northern markets.
While Mr. Bob shipped all his fruit by refrigerated railroad cars, peaches today are shipped by refrigerated trucks, which can reach some markets overnight. Although many changes in the industry have been made over the last 100 years, the Dickey family still continues the tradition of providing the highest quality peaches possible.
Food safety is a major concern in the production of all food sources and peaches are no exception. Dickey Farms successfully completed the requirements of the Georgia GAP Food Safety Program in 2003 with continued yearly audits. In 2012, Dickey Farms went a step further by completing a third party Global G.A.P audit. This type audit has world-wide standards and is a mandatory requirement by many of our wholesale buyers. A requirement in both audits is the ability to trace peaches from the wholesale customer back to the orchard where it was grown and when it was picked and packed.