Fall is Apple Festival time.
I spent Saturday (October 6) at the North Wilkesboro (NC) Apple Festival.
The great folks from the Brushy Mountain Ruritan have been putting on this free festival for over 30 years. Over a hundred thousand people flood into town for this huge festival.
The entire downtown is blocked off for this one day event.
There were great crafts for sale. Many exhibits and demonstrations to enjoy.
I had the honor of manning the Heritage Apple booth for Tom Brown, who was doing another apple festival in Paintsville KY.
As my name tag said: “I’m not Tom Brown”, but I tried to dispense as much of my limited knowledge as I could.
I met many really nice people. Many were interested in the antique and heritage apples. The booth was mainly for educational purposes.
It was fun to educate people on the different uses for apples that our ancestors had. And the many different kinds of apples for each use. Many children have never heard of dried apples or keeping food through the winter.
Once people learn about the hundreds of kinds of apples that were grown and now are not being grown, they realize that part of our culture and history is dying out when these old apple trees die.
Also at the booth, many people stopped by and asked “Have you ever heard of an _______ apple?” Tom has found thousands of heritage apples and had provided me a list. So if I couldn’t find the apple listed, I would take their name and number and information about the apple and where the tree can be found.
This way, we can “rescue” another heritage apple from extinction. Pretty cool, huh?
I hope you make it to an apple festival near you.
Here is a link to Tom’s Apple Search page.
Take an afternoon to seek out the apple orchards nearest you. Try different apples. Learn what other kinds of apples are available in you area. Apples are very regional.
You may discover a real treasure.