Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sky Top Orchard is Ripe for Apples in Western N.C.

Red baskets mean ripe apples at Sky Top Orchard
Check Them Out for Outdoor Fun
Apple orchards are usually open to the public seasonally, and Sky Top Orchard is no exception. Located near Flat Rock, N.C. this orchard opens in August and helps to kick off fall for visitors touring the mountains, and especially for folks driving up from the city of Greenville. Traveling to visit them at 1193 Pinnacle Mountain Road I began to notice conservation easement signs by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy on some of the windy roads in the area with scenic mountain terrain. Next I was seeing colorful signage that directed me to turn into the 60-acre apple orchard.

A large parking lot can handle lots of traffic at this family fun destination. A huge barn houses an apple merchandise center that sells cider, nick nacks and or course piles and piles of apples. These apples are not marketed for the grocery store, and this small family farm intends for the fresh apples to be consumed and enjoyed in a timely fashion. For those wishing to actually pick their own apples, the orchard will supply baskets and carts and then allow visitors out into the property.
Twenty-Two great reasons to Visit

The picking schedule is posted in several places, and out in the orchard, so that only the apples that are ripe shall be picked. The apple season includes August, September and October and continues until the orchard closes on December 15. Warm and wet weather during the first of September had the orchard and the mountains lush and green during my visit, but one can imagine that orchard visits later in the fall will also include viewing the leaves changing colors.

Just love this vintage sign about the apple biz
Apples trees are totally bare in winter but the buds open into flowers during the spring. Pollination is the next order of business since each flower will turn into an apple. Sky Top has a working bee hive in the big barn that serves to educate visitors (and kids) about how these bees live in harmony with the bustling business of orchard sales. Environmental education in an outdoors setting like this is very valuable and I salute the Sky Top Orchard owners for a job well done.

To view past blog entries for Western N.C. destinations click on The Orchard Inn.

To view past blog entries from the Green River Games click on 2014 or 2013.

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