Pittsboro, NC – The first annual Hops & Roots Festival this Saturday, September 3rd showcases some of the wonderful edibles and talents that exist in Pittsboro and surrounding Chatham County.
The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center will host the Festival this Saturday bringing together local brews, sustainable farms, local restaurants and great music from regional bands. Read more
Chapel Hill, NC – A short drive from Pittsboro is A Southern Season, one of the state’s most wonderful and famous places to buy food, cooking implements, home wares and more. I was interested to learn that the business was recently sold to a prestigious group of local investors. Read more
Pittsboro, NC – It’s always great to read about Pittsboro’s unique people in the national media. On Wednesday, The New York Times featured an in-depth story about Creighton Lee Calhoun Jr., an apple farmer in Pittsboro.
The Amazing Mr. Calhoun
Mr. Calhoun, now 82 years young, is no ordinary apple farmer. He’s a retired Army lieutenant colonel and an expert on heirloom apples.
“Old Southern Apples” is Mr. Calhoun’s encyclopedic book covering 1800 varieties of apples.
His orchard contains about 300 trees.
Sharing the Love
Mr. Calhoun, who goes by Lee, has shared his collection of old-time apple trees with younger farmers in the area. He grows forgotten varieties including Early Strawberry (makes good apple sauce), Arkansas Black, Red Twig and Carter’s Blue. Another type, the Cullasaga, was grown by the Cherokee people of North Carolina.
Grown Your Own
Lee Calhoun grows most varieties by grafting. That is, he takes a twig from the old tree and grows it on the trunk of something else.
Nowadays, Calhoun mostly grafts to dwarf tree stock, keeping the apple trees at a manageable height. He’s a careful pruner and uses wires to shape the trees for optimum production.
If you’d like to know more about growing heirloom apples, The Times lists an upcoming workshop in our area:
NORTH CAROLINA There will be a grafting workshop April 2 at Horne Creek Farm, in Pinnacle. Information: (336) 325-2298 or www.nchistoricsites.org/horne/
More About Pittsboro’s Apple Man
It’s great to hear about interesting local people. The New York Times article is interesting, well-written and stacks up as good journalism in my book. Read it for yourself:
The New York Times
March 2, 2011
In The Garden
“He Keeps Ancient Apples Fresh and Crisp“
When you talk about the things that make Pittsboro famous, Fearrington Village would have to be Number One.
It’s a farm and a village, a community and an inn. You can eat a meal at Fearrington (a good meal, too), shop there, get married, hold a meeting or live there. People from all over the world visit Fearrington.
And when they’re visiting Fearrington, they’re visiting Pittsboro. Read more
Imagine no more. Just a short drive from Pittsboro, right here in Chatham County, is The Inn at Celebrity Dairy. They’ll be hosting lots of great holiday events including Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner on the farm. Read more