Fall is, indeed, in the air, which means one things for Gilmer County’s apple farmers. Apple Festival is just around the corner and it seemed to be already affecting BJ Reece Orchards when FYN stopped by to get the scoop on their preparation for the upcoming festival.
Just as bees are buzzing to and from the hive, customers were coming and going at BJ Reece Orchard. It took us a few minutes to let things calm down to get to speak with owner, John Reece as he greeted, assisted and, even, hugged his customers.
Reece stated that the only thing that they can do to prepare for the significant influx of customers is pick, grade and bag the apples. With nearly 20 varieties on the farm, Reece and his employees stay busy to keep all of them gathered. Aside from apples, at this apple house, you will find candy, dried fruits, honey, canned goods, pies, peanuts, cider, donuts, recipe books, t-shirts, vegetables, kitchen accessories, sorghum, flavored syrups, sauces, jellies and jams slushies and much more!
Activities offered by John and his wife include wagon rides, petting zoo, apple cannon and special fall harvest events. You can also come participate in the U-Pick program seven days a week during September and October.
Interesting facts about Reece’s place is that all of the apples are grown on site, they plant 20 thousand cabbage and pepper plants each year, 30 thousand tomato plants and they add to the orchard each year by planting an additional few thousand trees. Another interesting fact is that they pick their apples fresh daily.
“I come in early in the morning and see what we need on the shelves then we go pick it”
Reece’s Orchard was established in the 1960’s but the current building was built in the mid 1970’s by John’s father, BJ. Nearly 20 years ago, John and his wife purchased the business from his Dad and have been operating it ever since.
FYN had a very interesting visit at BJ orchards and received a half peck of Golden Delicious apples to enjoy. Thank you to John for the wonderful apples!