Fall is almost here, and with it comes apple season and all manner of apple goodness. Whether you want to eat, drink, U-pick, or just admire them hanging languidly from branches, WNC has a slew of ’em, so today we’re looking at the apple industry by the numbers.
- NC ranks 7th in apple production in the United States. Washington state is the country’s leading producer of apples.
- The apple industry brings in over $18.5 million to the Tar Heel State annually.
- Across the state, apples are grown in just 23 counties,16 of which are in WNC.
- Henderson County is the state’s top producer of apples, growing about 85% of the state’s apples.
- Henderson County is also home to 1 of NC’s most popular + iconic fests: the North Carolina Apple Festival.
- 40% of NC’s apples are sold fresh, and the other 60% are utilized primarily for applesauce + juice.
- There are roughly 10,000 acres of apples in North Carolina that produce around 8 million bushels of apples a year.
- Need a bushel and peck reminder? A bushel is approximately 4-8 pecks, or lbs. A peck of apples weighs 10-12 lb.
- NC primarily produces 4 major varieties: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, and Galas. Over 40 other varieties are grown on a limited basis.
- Despite its popularity and economic clout, apples are not NC’s official fruit: that designation belongs to the scuppernong grape.