Photos from the Field: Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

by | Nov 30, 2009

A boy enjoys an apple at the 1980 Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in North Wilkesboro.

A boy enjoys an apple at the 1980 Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in North Wilkesboro.

The apple is a celebrated fruit in North Carolina, with two different festivals dedicated to the food. North Wilkesboro holds its annual one-day Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in October, when local apple growers set up throughout the festival to sell their apples, apple cider and dried apples. In Hendersonville, each Labor Day is celebrated with the N.C. Apple Festival.

Apples were brought to North Carolina in the 1700s, when some of the first European settlers in Henderson County set out trees in the Fruitland area. More than 6,800 acres of apples are now grown in North Carolina, mostly in Henderson, Polk, Wilkes, Alexander and Lincoln counties, and our state is ranked seventh in the nation for apple production.

The four major varieties that make up the bulk of North Carolina’s production are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Stayman. New cosmopolitan varieties are Empire, Fuji, Gala, Gold, Jonagold and Mutzu, and antique varieties are still available at roadside stands throughout the area, including Arkansas Black, Grimes, Limber Twig, Wolf River, Cortland, Hoover and Jonathon.

Apples are in season in North Carolina from August through February. To find a retailer near you, visit the N.C. Farm Fresh apple listings.