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Sep 24, 2007 09:14 AM

heirloom apples in MD/VA

We're on an apple kick!! Does anyone know of anyplace that has a selection of heirloom apples in the Maryland/upper Virginia area? We're willing to cover from, say, from Baltimore to Winchester, VA, but we'd prefer to be able to try multiple types on a trip, so we'd prefer either one place with several different types, or several places with different types fairly close together. Thanks for any pointers; we appreciate it!

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  1. I am a big fan of Allenberg Orchards. I get to buy from them at the Kingstowne Farmers Market. This week I purchased honeycrisp and empire apples. A-mazing!

    3 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      Honey Crisp and Empire are not heirloom apples. I haven't seeen heirlooms for sale anywhere in the region, unfortunately.

      1. re: monavano

        When are where (in kingstowne is farmer's market). I love honeycrisp variety, however, I believe it is a relatively new hybrid.

        1. re: Soup

          Kingstowne Farmers Market is in Kingstowne Town Center in Alexandria. It runs Friday afternoons from about 4-7pm.

      2. If you find a place that grows Albemarle Pippins or White Winter Pearmains please let us know. Who among us would not want to bite into an Albemarle Pippin or a White Winter Pearmain?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob W

          I haven't found a place in the area as yet that definitely grows or stocks these. My best bet so far for a real apple blow-out looks to be Rural Ridge Orchard, run by the folks who own the Vintage Virginia Apples website. They do have both Albemarle Pippins and White Winter Pearmains in their list, but I'm not completely sure that everything listed is something that they currently grow, or is just something they plan to grow in the future. I have an email in to them to ask them to clarify that. At a more-than-three-hour drive, I'd like to be slightly more certain of what they're offering before I hop in the car. ::grin::.

        2. Reid's Orchards (based in Buchanan Valley, PA) has a very large selection of heirloom apples (as many as 15 different heirloom varieties along with the regular apples). They are at the farmer's markets in Baltimore (the big downtown one on Sunday, and Saturdays at Waverly).

          6 Replies
          1. re: Roland Parker

            And this definitely looks like my best bet for a local trip -- thank you very much, Roland! (I love this board.)

            I think I'll also ask the folks on the Washington Post's food chats to see if anyone else has any suggestions; I'll pass on anything I hear.

            Thanks to everyone for all the help!

            1. re: Roland Parker

              FYI, Reid is selling antique apples (they use "antique" rather than "heirloom," same thing I assume) at the Mt. Pleasant farmers market in DC -- I don't know what other markets they go to.

              1. re: Roland Parker

                I think the Reids changed the name of their business to Papa's Orchard last year. They had been at Dupont Market, but are still profiled on the market's website:


                Fortunately, their profile lists a cell number for special orders.

                [Reading this thread makes me wistful for Summit Point Orchard - it used to operate next to the track in West VA]

                1. re: Lydia R

                  There was a good article on this topic in today's Washington Post food section:


                  Sadly, the highlighted purveyor of heirloom apples, Vintage Virginia Apples, primarily sells in the Charlottesville area.

                  1. re: Lydia R

                    I disagree about the article being good, but there was a seller at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market last Sunday who had about five varieties including a limited amount of Spitzenberg apples. Golden Grimes are another variety. Both are tart, very small apples.

                  2. re: Lydia R

                    Linden Vinyards used to have wnderful heirloom apples but woefully decide to use them all to make cider. Bah!

                    The best source I have found is at Tree-mendous fruit co. in MIchigan. Tel. No. 1-877-863-3276. They ship and have hundreds (literally) of varieties.

                2. Some folks have already mentioned it here, but Vintage Virginia Apples is very worth checking out. I go down there every year for their apple festival in early November (Nov 3rd this year) and it's worth the trip. It only takes about 2 1/2 hours or so and it's a straight shot and relatively scenic drive along Rt 29. Albemarle Pippins are in plentiful supply as are several other varieties but they only usually have a small yield of some of the more obscure varieties so you have to get there pretty early (I missed out on my faves one year because I showed up later in the day). If there's a particular kind you're looking for and you're not seeing it, couldn't hurt to ask - they might have a box stashed back somewhere in the fridge room. In addition to some (not great) bluegrass music, local vendors have tents set up where they're hawking other goods, and you really should check out the Everona Dairy folks. I bought two blocks of cheese from them on a whim but this year I'm stocking up big time for the winter - it's really great stuff. I also bought a grow-your-own-mushrooms kit from a couple because I thought it'd be great to just pluck gourmet mushrooms whenever I needed some, but it turned out to be a bust for me. Don't know what I did wrong, but the log just got moldy and gross. Anyway, I'm a big believer in VVA and really think the trip is worth making.