Apples: Fall’s fruit
Published 9:46 am Sunday, September 29, 2019
North Carolina has over 300 commercial apple operations comprised of 14,000 bearing acres of apple orchards, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Apples are produced in five areas of the state:
Haywood area – Haywood, Jackson, and Macon counties.
Henderson area – Buncombe, Henderson, Polk and Rutherford counties.
Mt. Mitchell area – Avery, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties.
Northwest area – Alexander, Ashe, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties.
South Mountain area: Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties.
The top producing county is Henderson with about 3,600 acres in orchards.
The four major varieties which make up the bulk of North Carolina’s production are red delicious, golden delicious, Rome beauty and Stayman.
Red and golden delicious varieties ripen in September and are sweet. Rome beauty, with a medium tart to sweet taste, also ripens in September. In October, Stayman ripens with its tart taste.
Over 40 other varieties are grown on a limited basis in the state. New cosmopolitan varieties are empire, Fuji, gala, gold, Jonagold and Mutzu.
Antique varieties may be available at roadside stands: Arkansas black, Grimes, Limbertwig, Wolf River, Cortland, Hoover and Jonathon.
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