A few Sundays ago we went up to Jeter Mountain Farm located just beyond downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina. My sister and two nieces were so excited to pick apples at the family-run farm, and we were all looking forward to picking grapes as well since they are also currently in season.
There are so many things to do while at the farm, including activities for the littles (at the indoor playground), cider and slushes, a coffee shop, cafe, market, and delicious baked goods including apple donuts that many orchards are well-known for.
After securing a parking spot in one of the three parking areas (you can drop walking-challenged guests by the main building), we headed to the two-part checkout area. The first line, we would later find out, is for pre-paying for your baskets, which, unlike some orchards, are not sold by weight, but as a set price. The second line which gets very long, but moves along at a steady speed, is where you line up for the tractors that take you to each stop.
I definitely recommend arriving at the farm by opening time (10 a.m.) both to beat the heat and the crowds. We arrived just a little under an hour after opening and the lines for the tractors heading out into the orchard were already wrapping around the main building.
We opted to get off at both stops which start at the grapes which include Concord, and two French varieties, Traminette and Chambourcin. The French varieties are limited and it’s recommended that you sample a grape or two from the vine before deciding to pick a larger bunch of grapes.
Also recommended, is a good pair of walking shoes. Sandals are NOT a good idea because you will be often walking on an incline.
My sister showing Celia (Cecileia) how to pick grapes
Little Miss Charlotte believes in enjoying her grapes right after picking them but is also happy to share.
These will make the most lovely jam!
By the time we reached the apples, both of the littles were getting clingy (solely to their mama) and we were getting hot ourselves, so after looking through the main part of the apple orchard, we decided to walk across to the gala apples (which are our favorites after all!)
While you can spend quite a bit of time wandering through the rows of trees to pick the apples, many of the apples that have fallen from the trees are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for picking up. (Which is perfect when you’re height-challenged!)