Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grow Your Own Heirloom Apple Trees

Through my daily conversations with people from all over the country, I've learned that most people are completely unaware of the amazing diversity of fresh farm products that are available in North Carolina.  Even though there are all kinds of wonderful websites, food guides, and local food programs, not everyone knows about them.  So, I'd like to help at least reach the folks who read my websites, blogs, tweets, etc.  Periodically, I plan to highlight a farm that I know of.  This is the first of what I hope to be a long series.

Big Horse Creek Farm
Specializing in Antique and Heirloom Apple Trees


Ron and Suzanne Joyner.  Photo from their website.

Today I would like to start with Big Horse Creek Farm located in the high country of Western North Carolina in Lansing.  I can't recall when I first met Suzanne and Ron Joyner, but last October they helped with our organic extension agent training.  They provided delicious apples for our enjoyment and participated in a panel discussion on organic farming.

Suzanne and Ron run a very specialized nursery offering grafted antique and heirloom apple trees.  Their goal is to preserve the wonderful old varieties from the past for future generations to enjoy.  They have a HUGE master list of varieties with wonderfully colorful names.  Their website provides good information on the varieties they have for sale, the rootstocks used, and detailed information on how to grow the young trees.  There is a detailed organic spray program and instructions on how you can collect scion wood from an apple tree that you want so they can propagate it for you.  One year old trees are very reasonably priced at $20 each, with discounts for large orders.  There's lots of great information on their website, so plan to spend a little time there.

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