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Family-owned farm offering pick-your-own produce since 1982!
Fruit Title

Blueberries, Blackberries, Peaches, and Apples

Blueberry Image Blueberries were often called “star berries” by Native Americans because the blossom end of the fruit forms a scar in the form of a star. If you examine a Blueberry, you can see the star that is left after the bloom falls. Some people refer to Blueberries as a “super fruit” because of the many health benefits they provide. Blueberries contain only 80 calories per cup, no fat and offer anti-oxidant properties. They are native to the Unites States where over 90% of the world’s Blueberries are grown. North Carolina ranks 6th in Blueberry production.

We grow several varieties of blueberries and our favorite Rabbiteye blueberry is Premier. This NC State University cultivar arrives early, is easy to pick, and tastes sweet. Several varieties of Southern Highbush blueberries are now in cultivation. Southern Highbush is a cross between a Northern Highbush Blueberry and native Southern Blueberry. Our favorite Southern Highbush Blueberry is called O’Neil. It produces a large, sweet-berry with small seeds and ripens several weeks ahead of Premier. Picking dates for blueberries change each year and normally start in early-June and end early-August.

Blackberry image Blackberries are native to the United States and to North Carolina. Commercial breeding programs designed to produce better blackberry fruit began in the 1930’s and during the period between the 1930 and 1950 a lot of Blackberries called “dewberries” were shipped from NC to other parts of the US. Blackberries are often considered to be a gourmet or specialty fruit item, similar to raspberries. The newer blackberry varieties have a longer storage life than dewberries or the older trailing type blackberry. They have become a popular item in the produce section of the supermarket, where they sell for a premium price.

We grow three patented varieties of blackberries produced by the breeding program at the University of Arkansas. All of these varieties are named in honor of a different Native American tribe. Our varieties are Navaho, Ouachita and Natchez. Our Blackberries are sweet enough to be eaten fresh, but also make excellent pies and jellies. The Navaho variety has very small seeds and keeps well in the refrigerator. All of the varieties we sell are completely thornless. Because the fields are clean and well kept, you will not find any chiggers either! Picking dates for blackberries change each year and typically start mid-June and end in early-August.

Apple Image Apples are not easy to grow in our climate so only a few local commercial orchards exist. Last year, the experts advised us to let our 600 trees “rest” so the trees could put their energy into growing stronger. The summer of 2016 will be our first ever Pick Your Own Apples! We grow 20 different varieties of apples that are a carefully selected assortment of the best heritage and commercial varieties available for our climate, including some not available elsewhere. In addition to commercial varieties like Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady, we grow heritage varieties, including two different varieties of Winesaps. Another heritage variety in our orchard is Roxbury Russet which originated with the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. Other heritage varieties include Grimes Golden, which is associated with Johnny Appleseed, and Albemarle Pippins. Pippins were grown by President Thomas Jefferson and President George Washington and are regarded as one the best apples in the world after they ripen in storage for several months.

Apple Image The multiple early-spring 2016 freezes occurred during full bloom killed all of our peaches. There are no peaches available in 2016. Weather permitting, peaches will be back summer 2017. We grow seven varieties of peaches that ripen over a long period of time. As a general rule, the early peaches are Clingstone. The Freestone peaches start with Redhaven, followed by Fireprince , Winblow, Contender and Flameprince. The early peaches like Rich May ripen at the start of the Pick Your Own Blackberry & Blueberry season, while variety like Winblo and Contender ripen later in the Blackberry & Blueberry season.

Peaches are not native to America, but originated in China and were introduced into America during the 17 century. NC ranks about 9th in peach production nationally with most of the crop sold locally at farm stands, and Pick Your Own Farms. Many popular commercial varieties of Peaches were developed at NC State including Winblo and Contender.

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