In September’s print issue, we cover Hendersonville’s best-known cultural institution — the North Carolina Apple Festival — by uncovering a few little known facts about the region’s major cash crop. Everyone knows apples are awesome: healthy, delicious, and the first harbinger of fall. And most local residents and even some tourists realize that Henderson County is the seventh-biggest apple-producing county in the country, and first in the state. The following tidbits, though, may count as juicy revelations:
- The 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain is partly responsible for Henderson County’s present-day, 5,000-acre-strong orchard industry.
- The heirloom Stayman-Winesap apple is more than 150 years old. In Hendersonville, the antique cultivar grows on a handful of farms, including Mountain Fresh Orchards.
- The ever-popular cider doughnut is actually a — gasp — northern tradition
- The winner of the festival’s ambassador competition receives a $1,000 scholarship. Meet Savanna Prince Roper, the 2016 Ambassador.
- In a good year, the apple industry brings in around $22 million to the local economy.
Fruits of Our Labor Day, celebrating more than 60 years, happens September 2-5 in and around downtown Hendersonville. Visit ncapplefestival.org for a full schedule of events.