The Orchard is closed for the winter. The trees are taking a much needed rest before waking up again in the spring. As always we are hoping for a bountiful crop next year!
The children of some distant day, thus to some aged man shall say, "Who planted this old apple tree?" -- William Cullen Bryant
At the Orchard at Altapass, the answer to that question is "The Clinchfield Railroad." Creighton Lee Calhoun, noted pomologist and author of Old Southern Apples, defines heirloom apples as those varieties that were grown prior to the time when "groceries" became the main source of fruit for most people, which he believes was the late 1920's. Many of our apple trees were planted by the original owners, making them heirlooms in every sense of the word.
In the following sections, you'll find information about the uses and ripening periods of all of our apples, as well as a bit of history of our heirloom apples. The apples are listed in order of ripening, earliest to latest.
Learn more about Creighton Lee Calhoun in this New_York_Times article.