James Creek Orchards
Southern Pines, NC - Ann Marie Thornton, David Thornton, and Katherine Schirmer of James Creek Orchards grow and market tree-ripened peaches and apples, as well as blueberries, pears, Asian pears, persimmons, muscadines and cut flowers. The main orchards at Old Ferguson Farm are 18 acres with roughly 12 acres in production; the south orchard grows about 50 varieties of Southern heirloom apples for fresh eating and cider on five-acres fringed with cut flower beds. They have been farming since the winter of 2008-09 when they laid out and planted our first cider apples. They purchased Ferguson Farm in 2013 to expand their fruit growing operation and develop facilities for making and storing hard cider. In 2014, they began selling at the Carrboro Farmers' Market, building on the wonderful relationship that John Ferguson had established with customers there. Last year they also remodeled an old ice cream stand at Old Ferguson Farm to create a cider house where they could press and ferment our own apples. They hope to begin producing hard cider from the fall 2015 harvest.
James Creek Orchards sells at the Wednesday and Saturday Markets.
Growing Practices: We strive for sustainability and spread about 54,000 cubic feet of compost throughout the orchards last year to increase the organic matter in the soil and to fertilize primarily through natural means. We are dedicated to integrated pest management and monitor conditions in the orchard to spray peaches, apples and pears only in response to direct threats and only with materials carefully chosen to minimize the impact on our environment. Muscadines and persimmons are not sprayed at all, and blueberries receive only organic sprays.