Lindsay Deal of Deal Orchards is a third generation orchardman in Alexander County, NC. He and his family raise peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears on 100 acres in the Brushy Mountains.
The orchards are especially scenic, lining the ridges of the mountains. Growing on the steep slopes of the Brushy Mountains protects peach blossoms from late freezes, as the cold air tends to pool in the low-lying areas. The Deal family raises a dozen or more varieties of apple: from the everyday Gala and Granny Smith to the heirloom varieties Limbertwig and Arkansas Black. They use an apple grading apparatus that dates back to the 1950s. Apples are dumped from harvest bins into a large water tank, where they float up and onto a conveyor belt. Depending on the size and weight of each fruit, the apples fall into one of many shoots to be packed by consistent size grade. A new packing line would cost over a million dollars, but the old machine works just fine.
All three of Lindsay’s children work in the business and plan to continue his legacy. Lindsay’s son Alan is modernizing by improving on the orchard’s pest control methods: using Integrative Pest Management and eliminating organophosphates has reduced their need for chemical sprays. Integrative Pest Management is a practice used by conventional and organic farmers to reduce the need for chemical or organic sprays. This includes scouting for pests and using sticky cards to monitor pest populations, as well as using mating-disruptive pheromones.
Stop by Deal Orchards’s farm market for a visit the next time you’re out in Taylorsville. Make sure to try the apple cider slushie!