A 501(c)3 Non-Profit

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During the past six months, folks coordinated and led activities; picked, processed, and moved great crates of apples; baked and barbequed, cut up fresh vegetables. They directed traffic and drove wagons full of visitors. They swept floors, stocked shelves, and changed an occasional burnt out lightbulb. They scooped ice cream, popped corn, and sliced huge wedges of apple pie. They answered questions, asked a few, and smiled at everyone who came through the doors. There were cold days, rainy days, days with few visitors and quiet stages. And there were days when live music reverberated off the barn walls and lines formed at the registers (always lined with free samples).

During the past six months, 156 afternoon performances rocked the stage, 40 bands and/or individuals stepped up to entertain, 53 clogging and two-step lessons tapped the planks, and hundreds of pairs of feet shuffled on the cornmeal sprinkled floor. During the past six months, the Orchard hosted three annual holiday picnics with all day music, clogging, cannon fire, and lots of food. Authors signed books. Burnt Mountain Forge demonstrated the “old-time” art of forging; Thursday evenings were taken up with three plays, lectures, discussions, and five special concerts. And the Over Mountain Men (and women) were welcomed to the region and to the Orchard where they entertained and enlighted hundreds of visitors.

And, of course, apples (optimistically 100,000). The over 2,000 trees began “shedding” their ripe apples in July (earlier than normal). People were anxious to bite into the first apple of the season and disappointed when U-Pick ended and the last York went out the door 2-3 weeks before normal.

And more volunteers—Alan Tinney, sound; Hannah Stein, parking; Starli McDowell, grants; Rex Lansing, wall/stage decor; Bruce Koran, Wednesday music; Bob Widman, picnics; Elaine Collis, picnics/store; and JoAnn Harllee, Hal Brown and Bob Ammann of the O's board of directors.

There are so many folks who stepped up to help make the Orchard run smoothly (as possible). We thank them all.

Top Lft: Grill–Janiese Alonso, Rebecca McKinney, Sandy Porter (grill mgr); Bottom: Heyride–Marty Wise; Top Ctr: Back–Beth Hilton (general mgr), Michael Trubey, Sitao Lin, Elaine Collis, Kristi Mitchell; Front—Courtney Thomas, Alicia Sillman (store mgr), Kyleigh Johnson; Bottom: Ramiro Chavez, Kaleb Lyons, Jon Jirka (field mgr); Top Rt: Michela Buchanan, Legend McCourry; Bottom: Diane Varnot

Our mission:

The mission of the Altapass Foundation, Inc. is to preserve the history, heritage and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains; protect the underlying orchard land with its apples, wetlands, butterflies, and other natural features; and educate the public about the Appalachian experience. Altapass Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit and depends on the generosity of donors to fund programs that support this mission. Click here for information about becoming a member or to make a special donation.




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To make a donation or become an Orchard member, just click here.

Altapass Foundation Sponsors & Partners


1025 Orchard Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

MAILING: P.O. Box 245
Little Switzerland, NC 28749



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