A is for apple and for tarts and turnovers, applesauce and apple butter. For backpacks and briefcases, dunking barrels and lunch boxes. Crisp, crunchy, sweet, tart, peeled, or as-is — the simple, elementary apple is the fruit of fall.
Take your pick, literally. Pick-your-own orchards abound in Henderson County, where 65 percent of the state’s apples are grown. Here, Amelia Sheehan, of Lexington, Kentucky, has found her favorite flavor at Justus Orchard in Hendersonville.
Just one more: Waist-high bins of apples from Barnwell’s Apple House in Hendersonville tempt a buyer.
Father and son Stan and Andrew Rhodes gather fruit from their generations-old orchard, which they maintain today as a hobby. Every apple is donated to food banks and other nonprofit organizations.
Coston Farm, a fourth-generation, family-owned orchard in Hendersonville, sells Honeycrisp apple pies made with Coston Farm fruit (and family recipe).
The Orchard at Altapass off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine is “a business of pleasure, not production,” says Altapass Foundation CEO, Bill Carson. The 100+-year-old orchard still has 2,000 trees with 40 varieties of apples. Plenty are still good for pickin’.