As we head into apple season, you may be considering a drive to the mountains to pick your own. For many of us, that means planning a trip to Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge.
If you make the annual pilgrimage to pick apples at Mercier, there will be one less familiar face this year. Earlier this week, Adele Mercier, co-founder and matriarch of the orchard passed away in her home on the farm. She was 95.
Mercier opened the business in 1943 with her husband Bill, who preceded her in death in 2007. Mercier Orchards continues to be run by family, with four generations of the family at work.
In its 70th year, Mercier Orchards now grows 40 varieties of apples, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, plums and cherries. In addition to the U-pick fruit, most people who have stopped in the farm store will recall the fried pies, which lend their aroma to the entire store.
Mercier operations manager Rob Kaser credits the Merciers with creating “a great tradition in Blue Ridge.” He says, “Heaven just received a special delivery of a ring-packed basket of apples brought by Mrs. Adele Mercier.”
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog