The Many Uses of Apples
The history of apples in the South is a rich, varied story. Though little known and appreciated, hundreds of apple varieties were developed and nurtured by Southerners over the centuries. Old varieties with lyrical names such as Smokey Mt. Limbertwig, Mountain Boomer, Nickajack, and Magnum Bonum were once commonly grown in the fields, mountains and valleys throughout the South.
Modern varieties of apples today are mass-produced primarily for fresh eating and have few of the traits and characteristics of the old heirloom apples which were highly prized by Southern growers generations ago. Long ago, apples were not necessarily grown for fresh eating, but were valued more for cooking, cider and vinegar making, and long-term storage qualities. Some varieties such as Grimes Golden, McIntosh, and Newtown Pippin were much esteemed for the fine "applejack", or brandy they produced.
Following are listed some old Southern apples and their popular uses throughout history.
Ashe County Farmers' Market - More and more people nationwide are beginning to understand and appreciate the importance of locally-grown produce available through their nearby Farmers' Market. Here in Ashe County we have what we believe to be one of the best Farmers' Market in North Carolina. Visit us on Saturday's at our new Market shelter where you can purchase some the finest fresh produce and marvel at the most creative arts and crafts to be found anywhere. At our Market everything is "Hand-made and Home-Grown" in Ashe County.
Ashe County, NC, Agri-Cultural Trails Project - Big Horse Creek Farm is one of several enterprises in northwest North Carolina participating in an exciting new tourism project designed to promote an appreciation of small local family farms. Sponsored by the Ashe County Cooperative Extension Service, the Agri-Cultural Trails Project is an opportunity for your family to visit real working farms while supporting our local farmers.
Jorkas Farms - We have always been passionate advocates for supporting and promoting local agriculture. Jorkas Farms, under the skilled guidance of the Roberts family, is one of many Ashe County farms dedicated to providing the absolute best in locally-grown fruit and produce. Visit their informative web site or drop by the Ashe County Farmers' Market on any Saturday where you can purchase some of their exquisite cherries and other great offerings from their farm.
Above the River Cabin Rental & Real Estate - Our friends Michelle Handler & Jack Apple sell real estate in Ashe County and Grayson County, Virginia, and also have available to rent a brand new vacation rental cabin on the river near West Jefferson - it has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, hot tub, walking trails, sleeps 8 - and more!
Enjoy NC Apples - North Carolina is one of the largest producers of high quality apples in the country and with good reason - our cool mountain nights and long sunny summer days make for excellent growing conditions. Visit this web site to find out all you need to know about our great North Carolina apples.
Apple Journal - An excellent site for locating fruit orchards throughout the country. Good links with great information about our favorite fruit.
Apples of Maine - George Stilphen, author of The Apples of Maine, has a wonderful, informative website devoted to the history, physical and cultural characteristics of the more than 700 varieties of apples known to have been grown in the northeastern United States during the past four centuries.
Cummins Nursery - A fine orchard and nursery operation in Geneva, New York, offering a wide range of fruit and ornamental trees.
Virginia Apple Page - This is a web site of Virginia Tech University and offers an amazing amount of useful information for both the experienced and novice apple grower.
Virtual Orchard - Another web site dedicated to apple growers seeking to expand their knowledge. Visit here to subscribe to Apple-Crop, a very useful listserve.
NAFEX - The North American Fruit Explorers is a group of fruit enthusiasts from across the country dedicated to exploring and sharing knowledge about fruits of every kind.
Cyndi's Catalog of Garden Catalogs - For an incredible listing of every garden catalog imaginable, visit this wonderful site. Great for home growers and commercial interests alike.
Little Horse Vineyard - Our friend, Dan Strickland, maintains an experimental vineyard in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina specializing in cold-hardy wine grapes. Visit his site to learn more about raising fine wine grapes and to obtain grape vines and cuttings for your own vineyard.
The Permaculture Activist - Keith Johnson has created an amazingly diverse site addressing the connection of people and our planet. The Permaculture Activist offers an ever-growing Planetary Permaculture Directory, lists of contacts for nurseries and seed sources, a large catalog of useful books, articles from the magazine, links to Permaculture mailing lists and Institutes and much more.
Herbs and Apples - Michael Phillips, author of the very informative and highly respected book, The Apple Grower, has created a very unique web site devoted to organic apple growing and herbal healing. As quoted on his fascinating web site, "On our organic farm our emphasis is entirely on Green consciousness and medicinal integrity."
Willamette Nurseries - This company is the source for the high quality rootstock we use in our grafting work. Devin and Allison Cooper at Willamette Nurseries work hard to produce some of the finest rootstock available and offer a wide array of selections for both professional nurserymen as well as the small home orchard grower. To produce strong, healthy young trees, start with the best rootstock available from Willamette Nurseries.
Apple Tree Hill - As the site says, "Everything You Want to Know About Apple Trees!" Full of useful apple facts, Apple Tree Hill is a great place to visit to learn more about the wonderful world of apples. Great horticultural information as well as in-depth variety descriptions.
All About Apples - One of the most comprehensive and in-depth apple websites you can find! Full of useful and intriguing information about our favorite fruit. There is more apple information here than you can read in a single day!
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