Apples are a big Deal to this N.C. family

by | Sep 11, 2020

Every Friday on social media, we post a Farm Feature Friday showcasing one of our dedicated North Carolina farmers. Lindsey Deal, of Deal Apple Orchards, is one of those farmers. The #FarmFeatureFriday campaign will run through December 2021 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Be sure to tune in each Friday afternoon on social and help show your support for our local farmers!

For over 80 years, the Deal family has been hard at work growing apples, peaches and nectarines at Deal Apple Orchards in Taylorsville. Founded by Brack Deal in 1939, the orchard is now under ownership of second-generation owner Lindsey Deal and his son Alan, along with the rest of the Deal family.

He credits his family’s support for helping the orchard grow from 18 acres at its start to around 100 now. “My son is involved with the business, I have a daughter who retired from her job to come help us and my wife is also a part of it, so it’s a real family affair,” Lindsey said. “When some of that property became available, we just decided it would be good for us to purchase it.”

Lindsey & Alan Deal in the orchard.

Deal Orchards grows 16 kinds of apples throughout the growing season between August and November. During the summer, the orchard features nectarines, peaches and Asian pears. Personally, Lindsey said he prefers a Stayman Winesap apple, although in his words, he’s never met an apple he didn’t like.

The Brushy Mountain area, where the orchard is located, goes a long way toward helping the operation be successful, Lindsey said. “We’re not what we’d consider too high up, and not too low as far as the sea level is concerned,” he said, “it’s a good place to grow fruit, the fruit from this area just seems to have an excellent flavor.”

If you have a young child in school, odds are good that they’ve eaten something from Deal Orchard at one time or another. That’s because Deal Orchard is part of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s N.C. Farm to School program, which allows farms across the state to market their products to schools so that students can have fresh, locally grown produce to eat. Deal Orchards is also one of only a few apple growers in North Carolina with the Good Agricultural Practices certification, and it is the state’s only GAP-certified peach grower, according to Lindsey.

The Deal family operates its own farm market at 7400 NC-16 N., Taylorsville, where you can buy some of their fresh produce for yourself. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and in addition to fruit, also features apple cider, candy, stone ground cornmeal and baking goods with a variety of jams, jellies and spices.

Lindsey has been farming since joining his father in 1957, and to this day his favorite part of the job is still simply watching it all happen. “I love to see the fruit grow. I think nowadays the thing I enjoy as much as anything is when we go out into the orchard and we get to prune the trees back, brush them out and they look clean. Then the trees begin to bloom and everything is full of flowers, and it’s just like everything is renewed and refreshed.”