The Orchard at Altapass is happy to acknowledge they are dripping in sweet goodness and proud of it. Last year, the Deer Park® Brand sponsored Blue Ridge Parkway Association awarded the Orchard a grant that enabled the purchase of an additional six honeybee hives. This year, the Orchard is reaping the rewards and putting their honey on the shelves. Field manager and beekeeper Jon Jirka processed the honey from the hives and bottled 8-, 12-, and 16-ounce jars of unfiltered, raw, one hundred percent pure honey. Quantities are limited; this will be the first of only two honey pullings for the season. “Not only do we look for the additional bees increasing the number of apples per tree, but honey production is in line with our mission to preserve and protect the land and its ecosystem. This spring, we expanded our Monarch butterfly habitat, and just recently, we have begun work on the butterfly garden renovation,” said Beth Hilton, executive director. “The money generated from the sale of our honey will help fund future bee experiences for kids as part of our expanding youth education program. And it is delicious.”
The Orchard is open 10 to 5, Wednesday-Sunday through October. Located at 1025 Orchard Road in Spruce Pine (mm 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway), it is a non-profit, small batch, heirloom apple orchard, music, and educational venue. For more information, please visit www.altapassorchard.org.