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Eco-Community Hosts the 3rd Annual AppleFest on September 25


Apples, they’re not just for pies anymore! In addition to applesauce and butter, there is caramel apple bars, apple buttermilk bread, apple kugel, apple-cabbage ravioli with thyme, apple mulligatawny and so much more. To find fall apples for these creations, visitors and the community are invited to the Third Annual Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community AppleFest on September 25, from 1-5 at on Rt. 74-A in Gerton/Bat Cave, NC. It is free and family-friendly event.

According to local apple authorities, the height of the apple season usually runs from late August to late September, and with North Carolina being the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation, Apple Fest is a time-honored tradition. According to celebrated author Creighton Lee Calhoun, “in every region of the South apples have been grown and esteemed for centuries.”

Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community near Asheville “found” their 10-acre orchard under “jungle of overgrowth” several years ago. With the help of friends and volunteers they cleared the land and discovered 115 trees of 10 different varieties including: Golden and Red Delicious, Stamen and Turley Winesap, Lodi, and White Russian.

“We started AppleFest as a way of giving the apples something to do,” says John Myers co-founder of Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community. “First, we invite members of the larger community to harvest. Then the Gleaners come and gather apples to the food banks. Finally, people come and pick up the ground apples for their animals. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

This year’s AppleFest includes music, cider making, kid’s events and sampling of various apple goodies by Jack’s Catering of Asheville. People are encouraged to bring their own containers to take the apples home.

When harvesting and preparing, the top authorities on apples suggest the following:

· When picking, an apple’s skin should be shiny, not dull. A dull apple won’t be crisp and tasty. Also, make sure the apple is firm and free of bruises and punctures.
· When storing, keep apples at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. They won’t stay crisp on the counter top for long.
· When preparing, Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.

Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community is currently expanding the orchard into a permaculture food forest with over 40 varieties of perennial fruits and nuts. The community, located on 270 acres, features green-built homes with renewable energy, organic gardens and orchards, and a community center called Laughing Waters for retreats, community gatherings, and education events.

For more information and directions to AppleFest visit www.HickoryNutForest.com or www.LaughingWatersNC.com or call John Myers at (828) 712-4926.

(Images provided by Applefest.)

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