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Hickory Nut Gap Farm

Fairview, North Carolina

Jamie Ager

Tell us about your growing philosophy

We are in the beginning phases of growing apples holistically.  We are a certified organic farm and believe in the concepts of biodiversity and plant nutrition enhancement. 

Tell us about your place on Earth.

We are in western North Carolina and currently grow apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and black raspberries.  Our apple orchard has three acres in production with trees that are 20 plus years old.  We recently planted 4 more acres of apples.  We have about 1000 blueberry bushes, 250 blackberries, and about 300 row feet of raspberries and black raspberries. We are in the humid southeast at an eleveation of 2200 feet about 20 minutes outside Asheville, NC. 

What draws you to growing fruit?

I like to eat it.  Picking fruit is a kid friendly way to spend a day as a family and as a farm with an agritourism component and a year round on farm store, we believe it makes sense to add other products to our mix.  

The challenge of growing high quality organic fruit is also intriguing as very few people (in our area) do it successfully. My inner druid is telling me to mention the great feeling of being out on a beautiful morning eating a freshly picked apple or blueberry and imagining the cycle that creates that moment in time and how amazing that is.

What holistic innovation most rocks your boat?

I have reviewed the core values and believe they get to the gist of a correct philosophy regarding fruit, and life as well I might add.  Suggestions I have would be more on the emotional end regarding the happiness that comes from a job well done and to add that on the continuum of history and agriculture we are on the cutting edge of something new every year and that we never stop learning.

What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?

We have an old orchard and the varieties are not very scab resistant.  Planting more scab resistant varieties would be nice.  Also the trees are pretty far apart which makes it more of a challenge to get a good application rate onto the trees when we spray.

How do you go about marketing the good fruit?

We direct market almost everything at our farm store.  The rest we take to Farmers Markets in Asheville.

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