If you live anywhere near Ellijay, Georgia, there are many reasons to bypass your local supermarket and head to the high hills of Gilmer County. The apples there are exquisite. While some apples in grocers have been refrigerated and could be a year old, this simply is not the case in Ellijay. Here are ten good reasons why you should stock up on fresh apples in Ellijay.
1. The scenery. Roadside stands by apple orchards are numerous and positioned on the backdrop of the gorgeous and breathtaking scenery of the North Georgia Mountains. This is old Appalachian country and the fall crisp air is sure to delight you as you make you selections.
2. Price. Because you are dealing directly with the growers, you are cutting out at least one middleman. This adds up to big savings, especially if you are buying a volume for the upcoming fall and winter holidays for cooking and preserving.
3. Taste. The apples in Ellijay are tree-ripened and freshly picked. Cool mountain night air provides crispness to the apples. In a taste test conducted by the University of Georgia concluded that Ellijay apples beat Washington apples hands down in taste.
4. A perfect autumn adventure. The apple season is from late August until December. The season coincides with many fall festivals in North Georgia, so you can visit many events and stock up on apples as well.
5. Availability. Ellijay sells the first new crop available anywhere in the United States.
6. Choice. There are many, many varieties available. You can get the typical Red or Golden Delicious, but you can also find ample supply of Gala, Winesap, and Mitsu. You can even find even more exotic varieties such as Arkansas Black or Ginger Gold. There are over a hundred different varieties grown in Ellijay, Georgia.
7. The aroma. No air conditioned artificiality here. Step into one of the apple houses and breathe in the crisp and sweet aroma of freshly harvested apples.
8. Activities. Several of the larger apple orchards in Ellijay have seasonal activities for children such as hayrides and petting zoos and mazes. Or you can pick your own apples straight off the trees at some of the apple farms. You certainly cannot do that in a supermarket! What a delight for children!
9. All the extras. Not only can you buy the freshest of the fresh apples, you can buy locally and freshly made homemade apple butter, fried apple pies, apple fritters (and if you have never had an Ellijay apple fritter, you are in for a treat), and homemade old fashioned freshly pressed apple cider. Some of the larger houses have snack bars or restaurants on the premises.
10. Nutrition. An average Ellijay apple, medium sized, has a calorie content of 80 calories-and as you know, an apple a day….