Fruit Orchards

Fruit has long been an important staple of the Appalachian diet. Early pioneers found wild crabapples, black cherries, plums, persimmons, paw paws, as well as peaches that had been introduced in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. To that native stock, they added their own European varieties of apples, cherries, plums, and pears. Most family farms included small orchards. Fruit was eaten fresh during harvest season, was dried for cold weather consumption, and distilled into various alcoholic brandies. Over time, family orchards face increasing competition from commercial operations, and old-time, or “heirloom” varieties of fruit began to disappear. Some growers today have tried to reverse that trend by collecting and growing the seeds of original heirloom fruits.

Multimedia:

Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Related Posts

  • ApplesApples Apples are a traditional and valuable part of our heritage in North Carolina. The most popular varieties nationwide--Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala--are grown here. In the […]
  • Apple ButterApple Butter Apple butter is a concentrated form of apple sauce made by boiling apples with cider and adding spices like cinnamon. . .
  • Heirloom Fruits and VegetablesHeirloom Fruits and Vegetables Heirloom fruits and vegetables are those that have been preserved in families and communities over long periods of time. They different from modern varieties in two ways. They are […]
  • MoonshineMoonshine Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought with them their preference and talent for making whiskey. Indian corn proved an acceptable grain substitute for Old World barley, and carrying […]
  • Subsistence FarmingSubsistence Farming Subsistence farming is the practice of families producing most of the necessities of life from their own land and labor. Until well into the 20th century, most mountain farmers raised […]