Who we are and what we do.
For over thirty years, Carolyn and Jim Markley have run
CJ Orchards — a Rutledge, Georgia community mainstay known for fresh produce, great service, and the kind of charm that can only be found on a family-run farm.
As the only full-sized orchard in a 20-county range, CJ Orchards is the premier provider of fresh peaches, tomatoes, blueberries and pecans for the middle Georgia region. Residents of the surrounding counties like Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Oconee and Baldwin are regular visitors, but the orchards play host to visitors from all over the planet, all drawn to whichever just-picked harvest is in season.
A fresh tree-ripe peach is a rare treat indeed. The mission of our farm is to provide this delicious “queen of fruits” to our customers in the five-county area. Our efforts are dedicated to providing vine ripe tomatoes, fresh nutritious blueberries, to be available when peaches come in. Come join us at our orchard to select and purchase as much of the delicious produce during its availability.
We offer ten (10) varieties of yellow flesh peaches: four early semi-freestone, and six true freestone. We start close to June 15th and continue until the last peach is picked in late July. We offer 25lb. pre-picked boxes or 6/7lb. baskets. We try to only pick what we will sell each day. Our shed setup is simple: Fruit in one end, then out the other — directly into your vehicle!
What we do: The Process
Growing peaches is a lot like any other crop; they take fertilization, watering, and harvesting.
Every peach tree is grafted… they start from a seed but they have to be grafted to a true variety, and it takes about three to four years to get it up and get production out of it, so it's definitely a labor of love.
We go through a predictable process: pruning in January and February; spraying for insects and disease at petal-fall; shuck-splitting, then thinning — we take off 80% of the peaches in this phase — then finally picking when ready. We only pick the finest fruit, and only at the height of ripeness!