Harvest Memories In Hendersonville


Henderson County, NC

In the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Hendersonville, harvest season means walking through rows of apple trees in the middle of an orchard, purchasing fresh fruit, taking in mountain views and making memories as a family.

Throughout the fall, apple orchards buzz with activity. Orchards, markets and roadside stands throughout the countryside invite visitors to join the harvest experience. Some farms grow more than 20 varieties of apples, which gradually ripen at different times and stretch the season from August into November. Gala and McIntosh are some of the early birds, while Rome and pink lady come later.

To complement the apple crop, farmers also plant pumpkins, winter squash and cabbage. Visitors may take a hayride, pet barnyard animals and relax in a rocking chair overlooking mountains in the distance. Apple cider doughnuts hot from the fryer are nearly as popular as the fruit itself. Apple butter, jelly, pies and cakes are tempting take-home treats.

Grandad’s Apples ’N Such, run by a fourth-generation farmer and located along a stretch of road known as apple alley, has become an annual destination for many families. Kids know when they see the red-roofed barn and silo with a tractor on top that fun times are just ahead. Wander through the corn maze and reward yourself for finding the exit with an apple cider slushie.

In addition to apples, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard grows grapes, pumpkins, zinnias and sunflowers. On weekends, test your aim with an apple cannon, take a wagon ride through the field and enjoy a pork picnic with food from Ugly Pig BBQ.

The number of orchards and quality of apples make Hendersonville a natural fit for hard cider. Jeter Mountain Farm recently opened a cider tasting room to add to its orchard activities. Six hard ciders are on tap, including a variety from nearby Flat Rock Cider Company as well as Jeter Mountain’s own cider made from apples grown in surrounding fields.

For more information about Henderson County and additional attractions – go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org or call (800) 828-4244.