Buzz Bites: Mark your calendars for all things apple | To eat

This week’s Buzz Bites has the skinny on one of fall’s guilty pleasures – crisp, fragrant central Virginia apples. Whether you love your apples with wagon rides, bluegrass and farm fresh recreation or just a glass of wine and a memorable sunset over the mountains, there is bound to be an event in the coming weeks that will remind you all your juiciest fall memories.

At Carter Mountain OrchardCarter Mountain’s 10th Annual Fall into Fun Festival, the official opening of the apple orchards and pumpkin patch for the season, is back all day Saturday and Sunday. There will be live music from Max Mandu, as well as apple butter making, face painting, and plenty of fresh apple cider donuts and hot apple cider.

Keep in mind that since October is a very busy month in the orchard, $8 tickets will be required for pumpkin and apple picking for guests 12 and older on Saturdays and Sundays in October . Head toward chilesfamilyorchards.com in advance to reserve your place; chilesfamilyorchards.ticketspice.com will take you there.

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Reservations are not required for the Farm Market, Wine Shop, Patio, or Pavilion, and children under 12 do not need to pay to enter. familyorchards.com for more details on the availability of specific apple varieties.

And speaking of wine and sunsets, there are three dates left in the Thursday Evening Sunset series, which runs from 6-9 p.m. Thursday through September 29. Food trucks, Carter Mountain wines, Bold Rock Hard Cider and live music await.

Expect music from Root Cellar Remedy this Thursday with food trucks Blue Ridge Pizza and Vision BBQ. On September 22, look for music from Lockjaw and food trucks Slice Versa and Two Brothers Southwestern Grill. For the Sept. 29 finale, The Jackwagons will provide the music, and Vision BBQ and Two Brothers Southwestern Grill will bring back their food trucks.

At Albemarle CiderWorks Albemarle CiderWorks will serve a Heirloom Apple Tasting event at 1 p.m. Saturday to help you get acquainted with the venue’s more than 250 apple varieties. Even better, the event will be offered every two weeks until December 10.

Historian and CEO Charlotte Shelton will share a variety of heirloom apples to taste and educate you on the origins and best uses of each. Each tasting lasts approximately one hour and will include a tasting of six to eight varieties of apples, plus a glass of cider containing at least one of the apples included in the tasting and half a cock of apples to take away. A fresh non-alcoholic juice can be substituted if preferred.

The event is $25. Find out more about Alba marleciderworks.com.

Farm & GîtesThe 2022 Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival is coming soon – over three weekends this year. Make plans for October 1 and 2, October 8 and 9, and October 15 and 16, and you’ll want to make reservations today if you want to lower your admission price.

The Farm Experience offers everything from wagon rides, apple butter donuts, pumpkins, gourds, donkey rides and an ultra-cuddly petting zoo. Seventy craftsmen and traders will be present.

In the beer and wine tent, you’ll find Squeeze hard cider and Apple wine from Graves’ Mountain, as well as DuCard Vineyards wines and Beer Hound craft beers. Festival fare includes apple pies, apple fritters, funnel cakes, Brunswick stew, pork barbecue sandwiches, pork rinds, hot corn, fries and homemade ice cream.

New activities are scheduled every weekend. Expect Mark Templeton Band and the cloggers to be announced on October 1, Flatland Bluegrass Band and Skyline Country Cloggers on October 2, Bob Cook & Friends and Hi Horse Cloggers on October 8, Austin Boggs and Bull Run Cloggers on October 9 , Schuyler Bluegrass Band and Calico Cloggers on October 15 and Dark Hollow and Cardinal Cloggers on October 16.

Tickets are $5 for everyone 16 and older; Admission is free for ages 15 and under, but remember everyone must have a ticket. The early bird discount still applies to tickets purchased today; be sure to use code EARLYBIRD when checking out to get that 20% off. Learn more about tombsmountain.com. For meal reservations or details, call (540) 923-4231.

Generosity towards food banks The Virginia Federation of Food Banks announced that Sentara Healthcare has awarded a $500,000 Master Grant to assist the seven Feeding America food banks in Virginia with the shared Boundless Collaboration for Health Equity initiative. This “healthy pantry” network will improve nutrition rankings and food sourcing policies, establish a data-sharing platform, and strengthen screening and referral partnerships.

September is Hunger Action Month, so when you go to food drives, take a moment to select healthy foods to donate. Here’s an easy way to get started: look for low-sodium canned vegetables and fruits in 100% juice instead of sugary syrups. Check your food bank’s website for the foods your neighbors need most.

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