"Pick your own" apple orchards? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am from the northeast and we used to go apple picking every Fall. It is such a fond memory of my childhood.

I would love to take my kids apple picking. Anyone know of a farm in NC? I don't even mind driving a bit west to go.
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#2 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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Try here:

http://www.pickyourown.org/

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#3 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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hey a,

There's a bunch in the mountains. I've been meaning to go every year, but have never made it yet. One that I've had my eye on is the Orchard at Altapass since it's not too too far from Boone (45 minutes?). I think there are a whole bunch near Hendersonville/Asheville, too.

I remember seeing a sign for one not too far from here. I think maybe in Chatham, but I don't know anything about it or even if it's still there. I think the mountain apples are generally regarded as superior.

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#4 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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I haven't been here, but want to go this fall:

Orchard Creek Farm - apples, pears, peaches, and prepicked produce, picnic area, farm animals
4812 Timberwood Trail, Efland, NC 27243. Phone: 919 563 3643. Email: orchardcreekfarm@yahoo.com. And for a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in July, August, September, October. Open: Call for appointment Payment: Cash, Check. IPM growing method (integrated pest management). Free range chickens and eggs. Meat Goats

I talked to the woman on the phone and she was really nice. Apple/pear picking is by appointment.
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#5 of 27 Old 09-20-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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A friend posted last month about a place called Millstone Creek Orchards on U.S. 64. Apples should be there through the beginning of October. You can also pick peaches and grapes.

Estimated at about one hour from Cary, just before Ramseur.

www.millstonecreekorchards.com
336-824-5263
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#6 of 27 Old 09-20-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Check your PM box.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#7 of 27 Old 09-21-2008, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow-Efland! That is really close by. Maybe we could meet out there as a group some time.
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#8 of 27 Old 09-22-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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We go to Millstone yearly and just went on Saturday. The weather was perfect. They have fuji, red and golden delicious and granny smith right now. We love that place.

Friends of ours in Hillsborough just mentioned the Efland one; they got some of their apples at the farmer's market.

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#9 of 27 Old 09-22-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Is Millstone organic or using IPM? I couldn't tell from their website, which usually means no....
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#10 of 27 Old 09-23-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Is Millstone organic or using IPM? I couldn't tell from their website, which usually means no....
I called to ask if they are organic and they said no...bummer.
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#11 of 27 Old 09-23-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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Some farmers cannot financially meet all of the specific practices that enable them to use the term "organic." Several of the farmers around my area are all-but-the-term organic because of certain specifications they simply cannot meet.

We buy fresh, non-hormone enhanced dairy milk from a local farmer and their grass-fed cows. Because they cannot afford to process their milk in their own special tanks and use the local university to do the milk processing (from their sterilized tanks) they cannot use the term "organic". But they meet the intent and actuality of organic moreso than, say, Horizon who have been targeted as little more than a feed lot that happens to meet the organic "standards."

It's worth it to research more with the farmer for more than just the "organic" tag. What is bought locally is often still superior than an "organic" product that has been packaged individually in plastic and shipped in from Chile or China.

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#12 of 27 Old 09-23-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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Where are you DarkHorse? Nashvegas=Nashville? I would love to know of a good organic (certified or non-certified) apple orchard in NC, but I fear that our humidity and bugs make it too hard to grow apples organically here. I've certainly bought my share from Washington state, but I haven't heard of any around here for sale.

Picked up the Carrboro Free Press today and they have a few stories on apples. They've got a short article on Ferguson Farms who sells at the Carrboro Farmers' Mkt and a shorter blurb about the apple festival up near Wilkesboro. I know Henderson Co is supposed to have the most apples in the state.

If anybody knows of an organic-ish apple grower I'm willing to travel!

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#13 of 27 Old 09-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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I'm taking my preschool class to the farm in Efland that Pinky mentioned.

She doesn't use chemicals on the fruit.

I found a few others within an hour drive...I'll post those when I get home from the beach and have my notebook with the info

Zoe, mama to one "rough and tough" dude (8/02/06) and one new sweet pie (4/11/10)
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#14 of 27 Old 09-24-2008, 08:33 AM
 
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Levering Orchard has apples right now. It's actually in Ararat, VA but it's just a few minutes outside of NC (Mt. Airy).

We went there in the summer and picked cherries. It's a really neat place! You can pick your own or buy what they have picked. It's huge and a really, really fun experience.

A link: http://www.leveringorchard.com/

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#15 of 27 Old 09-24-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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I'm back...I found a nifty site that you can look up farms by county NC Dept of Agriculture. I put in all counties and it comes up with quite a few for apple orchards.

http://www.ncfarmfresh.com/Directory...&submit=Search

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#16 of 27 Old 09-24-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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We're going on a homeschooling field trip to an orchard in Hendersonville Friday, the Orchard at Altapass in Spruce Pine is pretty amazing too.
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#17 of 27 Old 09-24-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkHorseMama View Post
Some farmers cannot financially meet all of the specific practices that enable them to use the term "organic." Several of the farmers around my area are all-but-the-term organic because of certain specifications they simply cannot meet.

We buy fresh, non-hormone enhanced dairy milk from a local farmer and their grass-fed cows. Because they cannot afford to process their milk in their own special tanks and use the local university to do the milk processing (from their sterilized tanks) they cannot use the term "organic". But they meet the intent and actuality of organic moreso than, say, Horizon who have been targeted as little more than a feed lot that happens to meet the organic "standards."

It's worth it to research more with the farmer for more than just the "organic" tag. What is bought locally is often still superior than an "organic" product that has been packaged individually in plastic and shipped in from Chile or China.
Organic certification isn't important to me, but organic practices are. That's really what I meant. Apples (and peaches and cherries) that are conventionally grown have very high levels of pesticides. I did a LOT of calling and emailing around earlier in the summer, and had no luck finding a peach orchard that were no- or low-spray. It seems similarly rare in apples. I'd love to hear about farms that don't spray (or only spray sparingly) if anyone has suggestions.
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#18 of 27 Old 09-25-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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Pinky, can you call Millstone and ask the right questions? I struggled with this a lot myself. The other mama from HMN inquired and was told they only spray when the apples are small...not really sure what that means.

When I first started looking for apple orchards 4 years ago, this was the closest one I could find, and I really like the owners a lot.

Holli
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#19 of 27 Old 09-25-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I bought some yummy "no chemicals" apples at the farmer's mkt yesterday, but they don't do u-pick. I asked. The farmer said that they tried it one year, but folks just picked what they wanted and left a bunch on the ground. Not really viable for them, but the apples they picked were tasty.

I'm interested in the Efland one now...

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#20 of 27 Old 09-25-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Where are you DarkHorse? Nashvegas=Nashville?
Yup, Nashville. Although, anytime I have traveled to NC and been asked where I was from, none of the NC folks ever heard the "N" at the beginning and all thought I was from Asheville.

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#21 of 27 Old 09-27-2008, 08:57 AM
 
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skytop orchard is a beautiful u-pick orchard.....I need to check on what they 'treat' their apples with. I'm almost afraid to ask as we have been going their for 7 years and love it.

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#22 of 27 Old 10-01-2008, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We went to Orchard Creek in Efland yesterday. It is right behind Timberwood organics. The woman was super nice and the kids loved feeding the chickens and goats.

She only has about eight producing trees and they are Arkansas Black apples. They are very dark looking, hard and a bit tart so my kids don't love them but they will make a great pie.

She said that they are about to close to "pick your own" for the season because most of the apples that are left are high up on the tree. My kids loved trying out the picker pole though.
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#23 of 27 Old 10-01-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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We went picking yesterday at Orchard Creek, as well! We think the apples are quite tasty -- a bit tart & really crisp. The apple farmer told us to hold the apples for a couple weeks before making applesauce or apple butter, as the sugars will develop & they'll naturally get sweeter. Nice thing about these late-season apples is that they will keep for months (which is handy, 'cause we picked 45 lbs!). --Nancy in Raleigh
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#24 of 27 Old 10-01-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Well, we're headed to Orchard Creek Saturday. Too bad about all of the apples being high up...oh well.

Zoe, mama to one "rough and tough" dude (8/02/06) and one new sweet pie (4/11/10)
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#25 of 27 Old 10-02-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zjandosmom View Post
skytop orchard is a beautiful u-pick orchard.....I need to check on what they 'treat' their apples with. I'm almost afraid to ask as we have been going their for 7 years and love it.
zjandosmom, I'd be very interested in what you find out about Skytop orchard. Please share, if you get in touch with them or if anyone else knows.

-Rachel

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#26 of 27 Old 10-06-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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We really enjoyed Orchard Creek...the apples were really high, but the kids were more interested in chasing chickens and feeding goats anyway. I think we'll try and make it earlier next year--she said apples start ripening in July.

Was dismayed to see a McCain/Palin sign at the entrance to the farm, but oh well...

Zoe, mama to one "rough and tough" dude (8/02/06) and one new sweet pie (4/11/10)
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#27 of 27 Old 10-09-2008, 07:20 AM
 
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We just got back from Skytop Orchard and it was amazing! The apples were in abundance unlike last year. There were also VERY crowded so i did not get to speak to the owner. The other family that we go with said that the farm does not spray with chemicals and i will say the apples do not have a 'chemical' taste to them, at all. i want to go back, sigh.

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