First thing you’ll want to do when you get there is head straight to the Apple Shed, where you can sample any and all of 75—yes, 75—different varieties of apples fresh from Classical Fruits’ 150-acre orchard. You can even buy a basket of your favorites to take home, but it might be a good idea to buy those apples on your way out—after you’ve browsed the antiques and crafts that 200 vendors will have on display under the pines.
Visitors also can purchase delicious apple breads, candies and cobblers made right there in Classical Fruits’ kitchen. And don’t worry about stopping for lunch on your way to Moulton because you won’t want to miss Natalie-Ann’s famous Apple Chicken Salad or a plate filled with the festival’s traditional home-cooked meal of white beans and ham, coleslaw, Mexican cornbread and green onions. There’s also an apple bake-off featuring delicious recipes from some of Classical Fruits’ core customers.
Franny contends this festival is “one of Alabama’s fastest-growing outdoor events,” and she speaks the truth. At the first festival five years ago, there were 12 antique vendors and a crowd of mostly locals; this year, Franny’s estimating the crowd will run a good 5,000 more than last year’s, when 20,000 folks flocked to the farm over the three days.
Classical Fruits, with a nursery known far and wide for its incredible selection of unusual fruit tree varieties, is an institution in and of itself — but that, as they say, is “a whole ’nuther story.” For now, Franny’s got a bunch of recipes she wants to share, to get you in that apple frame of mind.
For more on the Antique and Apple Festival, call Classical Fruits at (256) 974-8813, or check out www.classicalfruits.com online. The orchard and store are just outside of Moulton on Alabama 157.