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The Apple Times Newsletter

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  • Apple Times - May 2018
    Apple Times - May 2018
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    Welcome to our new season, starting May 5. We have a lot to report:

    The first thing you will notice as you proceed along Orchard Road is the new roof color. It is white like you have seldom seen! It no longer leaks, it is much better at reflecting heat away and it will last for years to come. As you approach the building, admire the beautiful red end of the barn. Wood from its construction in 1956 has been replaced and painted the brightest barn red you will ever see. When you enter the building, notice the new power-stingy L.E.D. lights replacing the old fluorescents. All of these improvements required $25,000. Our thanks go to Bill and Claire Wygand who suggested and detailed the work, funding for which was provided by the Wygands and Carol Price of the Tourism Development Authority of McDowell County. Many thanks owed them!

    As you compare the ends of the building with the sides, you understand why we are establishing a Building Fund to bring the remainder of the outside to the same look as the ends. You can make that happen. It will require another $25,000 to achieve that goal! Just mark your tax deductible donation to the Building Fund.

    Also inside the building it is easy to notice the eye-catching Overmountain Victory Trail Exhibit, made possible by a grant from the National Park Service, celebrating the turning point of The American Revolution. The Overmountain men passed through here on their way to the Battle in 1780. Thanks to Apple Advertising for preparation of the mighty exhibit.

    A look from the back deck reveals the electric wire fence surrounding the new planting of 110 heirloom apple trees, part of a three year program to plant 400 over the next two years. Through a grant from the North Carolina Specialty Crop Grant Program, the Altapass Orchard is working with Doug Hundley from the NC Cooperative Extension and Jason Bowen of Horn Creek Farm to plant a selection of Lee Calhoun’s Heirloom Apple Trees. Many of our customers come to the orchard for a specific apple that they remember growing in their parents’ or grandparents’ yard. Doc Watson traveled yearly to the orchard to get a bushel of Virginia Beauty apples, stating this orchard was the only place he could find his favorite old time apple. By expanding our heirloom selection and number of trees, we will introduce more Orchard customers to unique heirloom apple varieties not available commercially.
        
    Just a quick report on this year’s apple crop. We lost our early bloomers (apples of course) to freezing weather. Alas, no June apples or Macintosh. As of this writing, it appears we will have a good crop of Stayman, Virginia Beauty, and other red apples not a casualty of the weather, but we will have no yellow apples. These trees chose not to bloom this season, a not too uncommon characteristic.

    The music program cost the Altapass Foundation charity $31,000 last year. In an attempt to recover some or all of that cost, we have an increased focus on sponsoring the music groups and reduced the payment to weekday performers. Weekend groups still receive $150. Both weekday and weekend groups get all the tips. The sponsorship effort is spearheaded by Board of Directors member Jo Ann Harllee. Anonymous donors have pledged half of that expense as a matching grant. The other half is dependent on patrons like yourselves. The music program is expanding to include dance lessons taught by volunteers between weekend acts on the Orchard Pavilion, donations encouraged.

    The Orchard at Altapass was awarded a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area grant to research and tell the story of the Cherokee History in the Toe River Valley. The grant supports research by Barbara Duncan of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Scott Ashcroft of the National Forest Service. This research includes mountains Mitchell, Roan and Grandfather and the valley, rivers and trails between the three peaks. The research will become part of a permanent exhibit at the Orchard of Altapass. In addition to the Cherokee exhibit, the Orchard is sponsoring Cherokee Artisans to share their craft and story through programming with our visitors in September and October of the 2018 season.

    As the orchard opens, it is a time to consider if and how you can contribute your time, treasure or talent to the place we love. Talk it over with any of our staff, including: Sharon Womack, Andrea Call, Jacob Tipton, Donna Stafford, Starli McDowell, or me.

    Bill Carson


     
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    Copyright © 2018 Orchard at Altapass, All rights reserved.


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1025 Orchard Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
828-765-9531

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2018 Season Hours

  • CLOSED
  • CLOSED
  • 10:00 - 5:00
  • 10:00 - 5:00
  • 10:00 - 5:00
  • 10:00 - 5:00
  • 10:00 - 5:00
Copyright © The Historic Orchard at Altapass 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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