Lane’s Southern Orchards — Fort Valley, GA

After breakfast, I went back to my friend’s house–showered and packed–and made it to the Dublin area by about noon. When I arrived at my aunt’s house, she was dressed and ready to go on the adventure we’d planned. You see, there was one place I just had to go on this trip:

Can you guess why? :)

Still not sure? Maybe this will help:

No? How about this one?

Guessed yet? Chuckles

Yes, it’s true. There’s a place in Georgia called Lane’s Southern Orchard. And, of course, what woman named Lane—who was originally from Georgia—would miss the opportunity to shop at the gift shop there :)

We got there about 2pm that afternoon, and after plundering the gift shop for a while, we decided to sit down and have one of Lane’s famous treats: their homemade soft serve ice cream! My aunt decided she wanted chocolate, but I knew instantly that butter pecan was the right choice for me!

It was a good choice, too! Their ice cream was buttery and literally PACKED with ground pecan pieces. I’ve had plenty of butter pecan ice cream in my life, but I honestly don’t remember one with such a fresh pecan taste. I wasn’t able to eat the entire medium-sized cup … but I sure gave it the old college try! :)

Of course, I also bought three t-shirts, a coffee mug, a shopping bag, and a koozie … that all say “Lane” on them in some form or fashion. It’s not a name you find on most “find your name here” products … so I had to make up for lost time while I was there! Plus, I also picked up quite a few Southern food goodies there, too … including peach, scuppanong and strawberry nectars, Vidalia Onion and Peach hot sauce, and a tin of “Georgia Peach” cookies from Byrd’s Cookie in Savannah … one of the finest Southern cookie makers around. I haven’t tried their peach cookies yet (they must be new) … so I’m looking forward to the experience! If you ever get a chance to try Byrd’s cookies, be sure to try their Lime Coolers and their Bennie Wafers! They’re both excellent!

Final score: I really only had the ice cream to judge Lane’s Southern Orchards by, and I’ll give them an A for that … but the place is pretty much just a tourist joint. I went because my name is Lane … so I wanted some of their branded merchandise for the kitsch factor … but they basically charge outrageous prices for their goods. For example, if you were a Southerner who had easy access to tasty Southern produce every year … would you pay $9.00 for a quart of peach halves? They were beautiful—don’t get me wrong—but there were probably $2.00 worth of peaches in that jar. Even if you add another $2.00 for packaging and handling, they’re still charging the tourists twice what they’re worth … so I left most of that stuff behind—especially since I’m a canner myself—and mostly bought things like shirts and coffee cups that I couldn’t make myself. If the farm had been open (it’s off-season right now) so that we could have toured, it might have been a more interesting place that I might decide I wanted to visit again … but, from where I was sitting … it was just a tourist trap on I-75 … looking to rip off the people running back and forth to Florida.

However, if your name’s Lane ….. and you can never find anything with your name on it except Lane Closed signs …….. then I can highly recommend Lane’s Southern Orchards ‘-)

About Lane

Just a canner ... on this food journey called life :)
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