Brushy Mountain Apple Harvest

It’s a seasonal joy – visiting local apple orchards and co-ops to get a share in the bounty of the Brushy Mountain Apple Harvest in North Carolina. We go every year at about this point in the season. The temperatures have fallen, the crop is at its sweetest, and we can store the cache in the basement for several weeks with no worries about spoilage. And if a few get soft or develop a spot, we have about a thousand pounds of pony who is happy to relieve us of just such an apple. But who am I kidding, we stopped at the pasture on the way back home to give him and his buddies the first sweet tastes of our loot.

The only problem is choosing which apple house to shop at. There is no shortage of available places to make the purchases we require. And we have been patrons of them all over the years.

The next dilemma is which type of apple to buy – Granny Smith, Limbertwig, Arkansas Black, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman, Fuji, Pink Lady, Red Rome – or this year’s favorite : Blacktwig!

For me – the Blacktwig is the perfect apple. It has everything I love in a bright, crisp apple – juiciness, bite, and an almost wine-like tanin that dries the mouth and makes my teeth feel as though they have just been cleaned.

A pithy or soft apple is not for me. And I would rather chew on a sour one than a mushy sweet one. My family knows this odd tidbit about my eccentric apple snobbery and I believe they actually respect me for it.

But the apple houses offer more than plain – though spectacular – apples. There is a plethora of apple products – dried, cider, pies, jams, jellies, mulling spices.

They even offer more than apples. We love to relieve them of wedges of sharp cheddar cheese cut fresh from a large hoop wheel of the sharpest waxy black label, and maybe a few pounds of thickly sliced country ham, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables they’ve acquired or grown. And in huge baskets, filled to overflowing,are old fashioned candies like cream filled caramels, peanut butter logs, chocolate drops, Red Bird candy sticks, and more!

Here are few of the selections and our favorites for shopping. For more information visit

Brushy Mountain Farm & Orchard

Brushy Mountain Farm & Orchard

Sugarloaf Apple House

Sugarloaf Apple House

Perry Lowe Orchard

Perry Lowe Orchard

Wooden Crafts @ Perry Lowe Orchards

Wooden Crafts @ Perry Lowe Orchards

Bushels of Apples Coming Home

Bushels of Apples Coming Home

Deal Orchards with Mountains in the Background

Deal Orchards with Mountains in the Background

Baskets of Old Fashioned Candies

Baskets of Old Fashioned Candies

Deal Orchards Display

Deal Orchards Display

Whole Country Hams

Whole Country Hams

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  1. I have never been a big apple fan. But seeing your top photo here, I think I’m going to have to readjust my tastes. What a lovely photo and apple. And this is a sweet, tasty and crisp post! Thank you!

  2. Oh just YUM! “Honey Crisps” have been my new favorite but I need to find me a “Blacktwig”! Sounds so good. Hey, I’m all over them wooden bowls. Looks like such a great way to spend the day and I bet the horses really look forward to it too!

    1. Those horses are spoiled beyond belief. I’ve already taught Choco to kiss me for treats. He’s so cute coming at me with his lips all puckered out and head cocked at an angle. My husband just shakes his head.

  3. Wish I lived close to an orchard! Never even heard of Blacktwig, but it sounds like my kind of apple! I am an apple snob as well. I prefer the Fuji.

    I had to smile at your reply about kissing the horse. I do the same with the horse my husband bought me as a teenager, 15 years ago… my husband shakes his head as well.

    1. I’m so glad you shared your horse story. It makes me feel better to know I am not alone – nor is my husband. If you get a chance to try the blacktwig – you should. It is a great apple!

    1. Thank you Annie. These old fashioned stores and apple houses haven’t changed much over time and it is such a pleasure to visit and do a little shopping. And the guys out in the pasture like it too!

  4. Autumn is my favorite season. I think of harvest time, hayrides, and hot apple cider. Growing up on Long Island, we had a cider mill nearby that made some of the best cider I’ve ever tasted. Your photos reminded me of those days. Thank you for sharing them. I especially like the the Perry Lowe sign (I love kitchy signs!) and the truck bed of apples. Suitable for framing, if you ask me!

    1. What a nice comment! Thank you so much! Yes, New Yorkers know a thing or two about apples and cider as the upstate region is pretty famous for theirs – wine too now right? We’re getting quite a few wineries around here as well. One day I’ll post something about those. Just gotta find someone to drive me around so I can be accurate with the descriptions!

    1. Yes I remember your connection to this area from the post on the parkway. Maybe you can come visit again and I’ll make sure to have some good apples for you!

  5. One of my favorite memories is my mom taking us to the apple orchard in the fall. And then all the treats that were sure to follow so we could use them all up. I’m with you Renee…I’m an apple snob as well. I’ll throw out an apple variety I don’t like rather than waste my time eating it.

    1. Nothing wrong with being persnickety about apples. And if I’m going to have one – I want it to live up to my expectations! The great thing about the orchards around here is that they will let you sample before buying. Now that’s confidence!

  6. My mouth is watery just thinking about these delicious apples! I love a good pink lady or granny smith. Will have to find a blacktwig.

    I love havarti cheese with caraway along side a good apple slice.

    Mmmmm, thanks for the great post!

    1. Thanks for the idea. A nice havarti does sound good with the apples. Will have to try that. I’m also a fan of the granny smith which I think is rarely disappointing on the texture.

  7. I love apple picking season; have you ever tried a MacCoun apple…yummy sweet tart!
    Thank you for visiting my blog..I will definitely be back to check out yours!


  8. That looks like a great place. I can’t remember the last year I didn’t go apple picking. And every year, I look at those trees and I’m amazed all over again. Do you have that experience?

    Excellent post. Thank you!

  9. Oh if this isn’t one of the coolest places on earth. I’d enjoy visiting the markets and country stores. I can just imagine all the tasty treats a person could make with such a magnificent availability of varieties. Sweet! 🙂

    1. Yes, I keep wondering how they come up with all of the new varieties and which ones are best for which types of cooking or eating. But you gotta love those stores!

  10. I live just around the corner from a 100 year old Orchard and your post makes me want to visit them today. My fave is a Honeycrisp apple — mmmm but I will try to find the Blacktwig – have never heard of it!

  11. Renee i was about write “Delicious post”! But now i will not, as so many people before me already wrote that. So what I can say is, its a post which is good for health; i can also say, one post like this per day keeps doctor away! 🙂
    First champagne, then pumpkin now apple what next! I am sure there is something good coming up next! 🙂

    1. One more thing, I am really happy seeing so many visitors in your blog. I am really proud to have you in my blogroll. Congrats! Keep Writing…. now i am happy that you have started getting, what you deserve for your writing….

    2. With the November writing challenge of NaNoWriMo, my posts may be few this month. But I’ll try to find something interesting to post. Thanks for the encouragement Arindam.

  12. This made my mouth water! My grandparents live in NC and I have been to several stores just like these. Thanks for bringing back good fall memories.

  13. What a delightful trip this was! Thanks for taking us with you! Only one time have I visited apple orchards. That was when my sister was living in Virginia. I adore apples, eat bunches of them, although Florida is not a good apple state. I especially love the picture of the apples in the back of the truck. Lovely.

  14. “…We love to relieve them of wedges of sharp cheddar cheese” Oh my, now you’re talking!
    That’s the one thing I do miss on my dairy free regime is CHEESE…I am sitting here drooling just thinking about it. A nice piece of cheese, with thick crusty bread, apple,piccallili, and picked onions.
    I am having a foodie orgasm here!

    1. I can be the piggie when it comes to cheese, bread and apples. And here in the south, we like fried apples – in butter of course – with salty country ham and a nice fluffy biscuit. Yum, yum!

  15. I’m with you on those crisp, tart apples. I have not heard of the Blacktwig. Is that regional? Our favorite (we are in WV) is a regional apple, the Virginia Gold. We have found it only in a couple of farm stands (in VA). We usually purchase a couple of bushes this time of year and store them in our root cellar. They will keep until February or March. The goats get a few along the way. I harvested our apples and pears a couple of months ago. You can check that out at

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