It’s Apple Season

It’s Labor Day weekend and that means one thing here western North Carolina. It’s apple season! And what better way to kick off the season than an Apple Festival.

The North Carolina Apple Festival is held in downtown Hendersonville, NC.  It starts today and runs through September 1. The festival has been celebrating all things apples for more than 60 years for a reason.  Apple growing has been a part of the agricultural make up of the area since the 1700s. Today there are over 200 growers in the area and the crops bring in an average of $22 million dollars a year. North Carolina is the 7th largest producer of apples in the US and 65% of the apples are grown in Henderson County.

Here are a few fun facts about apples that you can ponder while you’re pie is in the oven:

  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • Apples account for 50 percent of the world’s deciduous fruit tree production.
  • The old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
  • Don’t peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.


Hendersonville is located in western North Carolina, just south of Asheville and east of Brevard.  With a population of approximately 110,000, it’s small enough to have that small town feel, but large enough to have all the conveniences you’re looking for.

If you like more information about the real estate market in Hendersonville or the surrounding areas, drop a line at! We’d love to hear from you.

The world and a two lane road.

This past week we took an overnight trip that involved several stops around Georgia, a night spent in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then back to Georgia the next morning. The trip had a purpose which we fulfilled, but along the way, we discovered an interesting irony.

Whenever we are on a road trip and whenever time allows we take a Robert Frost approach and try to find those roads less traveled. Speeding down an interstate might get you where you’re going a little faster, but besides the pure stress of interstate driving, think of all the things you miss as you go zooming by at 70 mph.

It hasn’t been that long ago that a road trip involved big, cumbersome paper maps that I could never refold correctly. Then we’d have to write down or remember which exits to take and which roads to follow. Today, it’s so much easier, providing you have the right app for that. We happened to load Map Quest on our iPad because it was free, but it’s proven to be the perfect traveling companion. Two years ago we took a round trip drive from Brevard, to St. Louis, to Chicago, to St. Paul and back again and the program got us every where we wanted to go without a single hiccup.

So again we put our faith in our iPad and turned the fate of our trip over to Map Quest as we headed south on SR 281. The early part of the trip, leaving North Carolina and getting into Georgia, is something we’ve done a number of times, but once we started getting further and further into Georgia, the more we relied on that pleasant voice to tell us when and where to turn. We got to Chattanooga just fine and when we prepared to leave the next morning, we popped the address of our next destination in Georgia into Map Quest and headed out. We had some idea of where we were going, but not exactly so we surrendered ourselves to our iPad and crossed our fingers that we would end up where we needed to be…eventually.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions we made on this trip. As we left Chattanooga it wasn’t long before we looked at each other and acknowledged that we had no idea where we were but it sure was pretty. We traveled for several hours on two-lane country roads that took us past old family farms, along a ridge with mountain views so stunning we pulled over and stopped to admire the sight, and through small towns that were no bigger than a blink. There were roads named for people we had never heard of, others that were designated historic and scenic, and some that barely had any name at all. There were tree lined roads with lush canopies and dappled light and rolling pasture land with bales of fresh cut hay. We saw century old gas stations with a neon “Open” sign that seemed to contradict the weathered gray wooden building, but reminded me of childhood summers spent in rural Louisiana. I wanted to stop just to see if any of them had an old chest cooler filled with Upper 10 and RC Cola.

We didn’t say much as we drove along. The songs of Allison Krauss and Trisha Yearwood provided the soundtrack of the day, interrupted only by the woman’s voice of Map Quest instructing us to turn here or there. The afternoon was as if we had been swooped up and transplanted back to a time when things were more simple. A time when a man’s word was as good as his handshake and families still gathered at the end of the day to share a supper with non-GMO vegetables and meat from animals who never saw a growth hormone. It was a time before anyone could conceive of evil anything like what we see today in ISIS. Preppers were just folks who knew how to put up food from the growing season and how to be self sustaining on the land. Kids played outside on swings, had dirt ball fights, played king of the hill, and knew to be home when the porch light came on. There was no such thing as being politically correct. It was a time when people talked to each other and they did it in more than 140 characters. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no text messaging but there was community.

We arrived at our destination and our dreamy day’s drive came to an end. There was no way we could have routed our trip any better on our own. We could have poured over a crumpled up road map and tried to make heads or tails of the roads, but in the end it was technology that took us on this journey. How ironic that it took a free app and an electronic voice to remind us of life’s simple pleasures and the world as it is when you take the time to travel along a two lane road.





Tips For Hiking With Your Four Legged Friends.

Hiking is an extremely popular activity in the Brevard area. The Dupont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and Gorges State Park are all here in our backyard and they offer up great trails and spectacular scenery.

If you hike on a regular basis, you probably already know the basics….wear good shoes, take plenty of water, dress for the weather, pack a map, and always let someone know where you are going. In this part of western North Carolina there is the added advice to stay off of the waterfalls.  There are over 260 waterfalls in Transylvania County and they are all beautiful, but they are also dangerous and every year people die from venturing too far out. So when it comes to waterfalls, admire them from a distance, please.

What if you like hiking with your dog? What are some things to remember to make it a fun adventure for both of you?

Stay cool. Take plenty of breaks
It’s a lot easier for you to stay cool than it is for your dog. The only way dogs can stay cool is by panting. Give yourself and your pup plenty of opportunities to stop and sit in the shade, especially during the summer months. There are also vests that you can buy that help your best friend stay cool. You soak them in water and it cools your pet while he’s wearing it. While you’re out, watch your dog for signs of over heating like panting more than usual, lethargy, or vomiting.

HanesKeep the bugs off
Ticks can be a big problem for dogs, and they like to hang out in the tall grasses. Minimize the chances of getting ticks by staying on the trail.  Monthly flea and tick medicines will also help keep those little suckers off your dog. Don’t forget to check yourself and your dog for ticks when you get home.

Carry plenty of fresh water
That seems pretty logical doesn’t it. But there is another reason. Some pets may experience upset stomach from drinking water in rivers and ponds because of the naturally occurring bacteria.  If you live in an area like we do and you hike a lot or take your pets to rivers to swim, talk to your vet about a vaccination that combats any contamination found in the water. Let’s face it…wild animals also enjoy the rivers and animals will do what they do in the water and that can cause problems when the water is ingested by your dog. We have our three dogs vaccinated every year.

Consider a Bear Bell
If you hike with your dog off leash, consider outfitting him with a bear bell. It’s a bell with a small velcro band that you attach to your dog’s collar. That way, if they get out of your sight, you can still hear them.  The noise made by the bell is also a good warning to snakes and other wild animals.  Check your favorite pet store or outdoor stores like Cabela.

Bring the Benadryl
Bugs bite dogs as well as their humans and plants that can make you itch can also make your dog itch so pack some Benadryl for both of you. Check with your vet first so you know how much Benadryl you can give your dog and when to give it. Dogs metabolise the drug very differently than we do so it is important to know the right dosage for your dog.

The Brevard area is a terrific place for getting outside and enjoying all the great scenery and natural surroundings. So get out there with your best friend and have some fun!



Ace, pictured here, is one of our three dogs that we have rescued over the last few years. He’s 97 pounds of pure love and the best real estate dog on the planet.

Above is our friend Hanes Hoffman and his best friend Hops. They spend a lot of time together on area trails. Hanes is also the owner  Bluewater Copper Works.