Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carter Mountain Orchard

As I said a few weeks ago I had gone to Carter Mountain Orchard to pick apples with my mom and dad. The location shown below in Google Maps is south of Charlottesville up on the mountain. They also have a vineyard there too.

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A little history about Carter Mountain and then on to my own photos!

The land on which Carter Mountain Orchard sits is rich in Virginia history. According to the Albemarle County Historical Society, The Honorable John Carter, Esquire obtained by grant 9350 acres of land, which embraced the whole of what is still called Carter Mountain, in 1729. Carter was at one point the Secretary of the Colony of Virginia. Upon his death in 1742, his land was given to his son Edward. Edward represented Albemarle County in the House of Burgesses from 1767 to 1769, and in the House of Delegates from 1788 to 1792.
In 1771, in exchange for legal services for Edward Carter, Thomas Jefferson was to receive “as much of his (Carter’s) mountain as can be seen from mine, and 100 yards beyond the lines of sight agreed before Captain Burton” (documented in the papers of Thomas Jefferson). This land is owned by Monticello and is adjacent to Carter Mountain Orchard. The land on which our orchard sits changed hands several times in the past 200 years. In the early 1970’s the Chiles family of Crown Orchard began operating Carter Mountain Orchard, and purchased the land in 1985. The apples were grown for commercial production, and for years were packed and shipped all over the country.
In 1974, we had an almost total freeze-out in our orchards. There was not enough fruit to hire a picking crew or run our packing house. So, we decided to open up the orchard to the public and let them pick what few apples we had. We put an ad in the local newspaper, cleaned out a tiny section of an old barn, set up a card table and a cigar box, and wondered if anyone would come (this idea of “pick your own” was a fairly new concept at the time). Fortunately for us, the public did indeed come. We sold all the fruit we had that year, and called it a success. While we intended to just be open that one year for Pick Your Own, we were quite surprised when the phones began ringing the following fall with folks ready to come back to pick!
This info was from the website cartermountainorchard.com where you can get all the info about the orchard, times and what to pick at the current time. Lots of great information on there. Here is the link. They also have a festival at their mountain.

OK my photos!

There is the main barn down below as to where the registers and the little country store.

It was a fantastic day that Sunday and for being up on the mountain there was hardly a breeze

Charlottesville is down below with the Shenadoah Mountains in the back ground.

Looking to the East back home where the clouds start and head to the Bay, quite amazing

Rows and rows of the Trees. There were the Fuji apples that were ready to pick. Quite tasty for a guy that doesn't eat apples

Plenty of apples everywhere

attempt for an up close photo with the old camera, not bad

Figure I drop this one in

Fuji apple that was quite large like a softball

Fuji apple with a bite out of it from me

Daddy carrying a bag of apples back down the mountain from the Fuji orchard to the main barn

There is mom's head on the right bottom with the barn in the distance.

The pink lady's apples were down here

I didn't really get that many photos but you can click on the photos and go to the main album. I will probably update the photo page to show all of my albums currently.

I hope you enjoy the photos and perhaps I will be able to go back if they really have Peach trees planted then I can go in the summer. Hope you one day go if in the area!
Samshio ©

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