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Meet the Newcomers: Justus Orchard’s Don Justus

By Alex Alesi, fall communications intern

When ASAP’s Farm Tour kicks off later this month, you’ll have the chance to learn from and explore more than 30 family-owned farms spread throughout Western North Carolina. Many of these farms are longstanding tour participants and will be familiar to those of you who attended last year and in other years past. More than a dozen, however, will make their Farm Tour debuts in 2012.

We talk today to Don Justus, one half of the husband-wife team that owns Hendersonville’s Justus Orchard.

Justus Orchard
Don Justus

Q: You’re new to the Farm Tour! Are you also new to farming?
A: No, [my wife Margo and I] are not new to farming, just to the Farm Tour. We are a fourth generation apple family. Back in the late 70s and early 80s we farmed 800-1000 acres of apples. Now we have only about 50.

Q: What will visitors see and experience at your farm during the Farm Tour?
A: We will have the apple house open with many different varieties of apples already picked, as well as many ready for pick-your-own. We will also have a bakery, and we make apple cider donuts; homemade, fried-apple pies; cider Slushies; and cider by the cup. If we happen to be packing apples, people may be able to watch the packing process.

Q: What’s your favorite fall crop to grow, or your favorite thing about fall on your farm?
A: We have been doing this long enough for it to become a family tradition for a lot of different families, and it is great seeing them each fall. In some regards it’s like an extended family reunion. My biggest thrill is to see someone come out of the orchard with a beautiful apple and to know that with God’s help, I grew that.

More Farm Tour links:
Complete list of participating farms + more tour information 
Purchase your pass online

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