OPINION: Local produce as a symbol of hope

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Summer will be distinctly different in Chilton County this year.

Although activities at Lake Mitchell can continue in groups less than 10 while following social distancing and the beaches in other part of the state have been opened, the events that say “summer in Chilton County” have been drastically altered.

The annual Miss Peach pageants and Peach Jam Jubilee have been canceled. The Peach auction will also look a little different this year. But, thankfully it and the Peach Parade have not been canceled but just rescheduled.

In a twist of irony, I was wearing last year’s Peach Jam T-shirt when I found out it would not be happening this year.

Event leaders have made some tough decisions going on the information that was available at the time. Information that may have seemed to be changing weekly.

Many other decisions made during this season will have long-reaching effects even beyond this summer.

Before you think this column is just another sad recap bemoaning all we have lost to this pandemic, let me offer hope.

There will be one constant to brighten summer days — Chilton County peaches.

Although the crop might be a bit less due to a variety of factors, there will be peaches.

Chilton County spring produce is already spreading cheer to some possibly bleak, long days with the harvesting of bright red strawberries that have endured recent storms and most likely other obstacles before being picked at the peak of ripeness.

There are many symbols of hope that have been adopted through the ages. This year for me, this symbol will be a peach. A natural reminder that life has gone on that we can beat the odds through careful planning, hard work and paying attention to warnings as peach growers often have to do in order see a harvest.