Thursday January 14, 2010 | NC Apple Industry

January 13, 2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in Coming Up | 15 Comments

The old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is easy to follow if you live in North Carolina. We are the 7th largest apple producer in the country with 40 varieties of the famous fruit grown in our region. But there are far more than 40 ancient and heirloom varieties of southern apples and one of our guests has sought out and saved many of them. North Carolina’s version of Johnny Appleseed, Lee Calhoun, joins us along with Chef Peter Reinhart and others to explore the benefits of North Carolina apples.
Peter Reinhart
– Chef-on-Assignment, Johnson & Wales
Lee Calhoun – Author, Old Southern Apples* and Orchard Owner
Megan Lambert – Pastry Chef, Johnson & Wales
*Old Southern Apples is currently out of print.

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  1. Is the book available? Amazon says it’s out of print with 3 used copies starting at $495.00 – no kidding! Thanks

    • Peggy,

      I am sorry to say that your research is correct. It’s possible that Mr. Calhoun will have some copies available and we intend to ask him that question during the show today. He wrote the book some time ago but I think there is continued interest in this subject so perhaps the book will find a new life.

  2. Someone just called in and asked about cider in the Charlotte area. I’m from upstate NY and have been looking for quality cider down here for some time….. and I finally found it at Trader Joe’s!!!

  3. Lincoln county has a number of great orchards that sell fresh apples and cider. A directory can be found at

  4. which apple do you like for Baked Apples

  5. I first learned about Mr. Calhoun’s work 13 years ago when I ordered some apple trees from him for some land we own in Stanly County. Mr. Calhoun recommended a number of varieties to plant for that part of the state, one of which was a Carolina Red June. Later, while telling my grandmother about the trees I had planted, she grew nostalgic, fondly remembering a Red June apple tree on her grandfather’s farm over 80 years ago. To her mind, she had never tasted a sweeter apple (she’s now over 90), and more important, just the thought of that tree all these years later suddenly brought back even sweeter memories for her of her grandparents’ farm. This fall, we planted another Red June in our backyard in Davidson for our children to help us grow and enjoy. What a tremendous gift Mr. Calhoun has given all of us who care, not only about the issue of local food, but also the importance of linking our children to their agrarian roots.

  6. What are you five favorite ‘eating’ heirlooms that are available somewhere (Century Farms or Big Horse Creek) for purchase?

    What is your opinion of the ‘Winter Terry, Lady Williams, Buckingham, Rambo, and Royal Red Limbertwigs varieties?

    • Carolina Red June, Old Fashioned Winesap, and Magnum Bonum are three of my favorite eating apples (all of which are available at Century Farms). Another thing to consider in choosing a tree is the time of ripening. If you have room for more than a couple of apple trees on your property, you can plant trees that ripen at different times between June and October, ensuring fresh apples through an extended period. For example, Red June gets its name because it’s an early-ripening tree. The nursery websites do a pretty good job of telling you when varieties typically ripen.

  7. a good source for out of print books is

  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charlotte Talks and Charlotte Talks, Autumn. Autumn said: NC's Johnny Appleseed who has spent years saving sum of the most ancient & rare apple trees, 2day. (via @CharlotteTalks) […]

  9. As a type of job creating stimulus, can’t we pay people to go around and plant local apple orchards on unused land? – along with other fruits, vegetables, nut trees, etc

  10. Eman- Where is this “unused land” you mention? Capitalism means it is all spoken for and that a few wealthy people and their corporations own most of it. The reason for so few orchards, dairies and vegetable farms is land speculation. We could pay unemployed people a living wage to do many useful things but we do not because corporations don’t want any production or wage competition. Your idea has great merit (wholesome outdoor employments) because not everyone is suited for or capable of the present prevailing (and often predatory) “jabs” (jobs). For a start, Eman, try planting fruit in your own, or a friend or relative’s yard. Lay off lawn chemicals and it will grow.

  11. I don’t know if today’s show (5/27/10) about “other N.C. Museums” was a repeat, but the Teapot Museum in Sparta is no longer there. They sold the tract of land they had hoped to build the new museum and closed up and sold off the display cases, paid off their bills and dissolved. Hopefully the Historical Society/Museum will be moving into the space discussed and some tea pots may be used as a part of their exhibits in the future. Sorry to give you this news. I don’t always recieve the station because of bad reception, but did catch most of it tonight w/ the 9pm airing.

  12. I want to find an apple called ‘June Apple’. I am 70 and my mother ate this apple as a child. When it’s cooked, it turns to apple sauce. I cannot find this apple……HELP ME FIND IT, PLEASE!!!!! Everything was destroyed where I grew up.


    Annie Jones – Shelby

  13. My current favorite grocery store eating apple is the Mountaineer. History?

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