One Tank Trip: Red Apple Barn

ELLIJAY, Ga. -- This week's One Tank Trip involves a quintessential fall activity: apple picking.

Melissa Long traveled to the Red Apple Barn in Gilmer County, the apple capital of Georgia.

About 90 minutes north of Atlanta, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, you'll find Marvin Pritchett tending to his apple orchard.

"It's a routine," he said. "It's day in and day out."

Pritchett began his Red Apple Barn in the mid-1960's while working as a supervisor in the textile industry. He wanted to pursue his childhood dream of growing apples on his family's property.

"We started out with 100 trees," he said.

Now, with 10 acres of orchard, it's a good thing the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Pritchett's son Barry and teenage granddaughter Breann also work hard during the fall harvest.

"My grandfather has taught me a lot about things like this," Breann said of Pritchett's orchard. "It's stuff you can't just read in a book. It takes experience. It's generations of knowledge."

Even family dog Bailey takes an interest -- in the thousands of visitors who pop by to pick apples every fall.

On the Pritchett farm, a hayride takes visitors deep into the orchard. Apple pickers can linger for as long as they wish. Some stay for up to six hours.

It's been a very good season this year. The above-average rainfall did not upset the apple cart.

Red Apple Barn is one of four orchards in Ellijay where guests have the option of picking their own apples. In addition to Red Apple Barn, Hillcrest Orchards,R&A OrchardsandReece Orchardsoffer the U-Pick option for visitors.

Inspired by the season, visitors will find apple scented candles made by the Ellijay Candle Co. for sale, in addition to apple jelly, apple butter and fried apple pies made by other local vendors.Our Daily Breadis one of the regional bakeries making apple cider donuts and apple breads. Our Daily Bread sells its baked goods at festivals throughout metro-Atlanta, including the upcoming Yellow Daily Festivalat Stone Mountain Park.

Two of the biggest weekends during the fall apple harvest fall in October occur when Gilmer County hosts the annual Georgia Apple Festival Arts & Crafts Show.

* Southern Estate Alpacas
* Tallulah Falls
*Hike Inn
*Camp Toccoa at Currahee
*Callaway Gardens
*Blue Ridge
*Pine Mountain Gold Museum
*Ga. Aquarium Sea Otter Encounter
*River City Rush
*Historic Banning Mills
*Consolidated Mine


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