As you might have guessed, it was this hay bale critter — Juicy, the Giant Apple Bug — that caused us to pull off Chimney Rock Road in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and into Lyda Farms. And cute he is, don’t you think? But our eyes were on the prize: the stunning apple orchards we had heard about at the NC Apple Festival just the day before.
Armed with a listing of Hendersonville NC Farm Markets, we headed out to see if we could find those yellow, green, and red juicy globes hanging on the trees. After all, we’d sampled just about every variety of apples grown in the area and washed it all down with apple cider, so it was just natural for us to want to see the source.
Just one of many orchards open during the NC Apple Festival, Lyda Farms offered us more than just a glimpse of apples in bags ready to take to our car. We asked first if we could see the orchards behind the farm stand, and, with their permission, we commenced to looking and photographing.
Of course, those green varieties — Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, etc. — are mighty tasty. But for picture taking, we wanted to see the red ones hanging from the branches. We didn’t have to go far. Row after row of loaded trees greeted us, even though we’d heard from more than one vendor at the festival that temps and rainfall hadn’t been ideal this year.
We really couldn’t tell. To us, the baskets of apples were picture perfect.
If you go to one of the markets, take a look around. Sometimes bins filled to the brim are as interesting as the orchards themselves, like this wooden bin at Henderson Farms in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
And then express your appreciation to all who heave-ho these big baskets for our eating pleasure!
Farm markets are pretty much the same in that they offer a variety of goods — preserves, cider, fried pies, and the like. But you really can’t beat the crunchiness of one of nature’s favorite fruits — apples right off the tree!
To find orchards in your area (and some of them will let you pick apples yourself), go to any search engine for apple orchards or apple farm markets. Since we were headed to North Carolina, our favorite sites were these:
- Orange Pippin, North Carolina Orchards
- Hendersonville, North Carolina, apple orchards
- Blue Ridge Farm Direct Market Association
- Romantic Asheville, Apple Farm Orchards near Asheville
So, dig in. Find an orchard. Soak up the beauty. And crunch into something juicy and flavorful. Apples in the fall are soooo good.
–Bert and Rusha