Mercier Orchards began in 1943 on just over 20 acres of land with a hand-me-down tractor and a couple experienced farmhands. Now, the orchard has expanded to 200 acres and is run by expert second-generation apple grower, Tim Mercier, and his family. The Northern Georgia orchard produces sweet cider, fried apple pies, jams, and pickles in addition to a staggering number of apple varieties.
Each of Mercier Orchards' 45 apple varieties (including Yate, Gold Rush, Splendor, Mutsu, Arkansas Black, Pink Lady, and Cameo) is grown using organic methods and picked by hand when perfectly ripe. The family has plenty of new technology to taste for sugar content and readiness, but Tim prefers the taste test -- racking up a dozen or more apples eaten a day! Tim prides himself on keeping the "tree to consumer" chain as short and fast as possible, often selling apples the day they are picked.
One of Mercier Orchards' newest and most exciting adventures is a partnership with local school systems. Area students now have the opportunity to taste fresh, local apples in varieties they may never have seen. Tim is counting on feeding this new generation of apple lovers for years to come.
Are you ready to do some apple taste testing of your own? We've assembled a few of our favorite apple recipes below the video.
"Mercier Orchards" courtesy of wholefoodsmarket.com
A few of our favorite apple recipes:
Like this post? Check out another Whole Foods Market partner: Wagon Wheel Ranch.