Bethel Valley Farms
North Carolina Berry Farms
In choosing what to grow at Bethel Valley Farms, we wanted to ensure that whatever we planted would enable us to embrace the benefits of the colder climate of the North Carolina High Country Mountains. Additionally, we were passionate about growing varietals that would provide high quality local fruit to our customers from the beginning of summer through early fall. For information about our varietals for each our fruits, please fill out our contact form located on the “Contact Us” tab.
Prior to the establishment of Bethel Valley Farms in Summer 2011, none of the farms in Watauga County grew raspberries commercially. We felt that there was a need for local fresh raspberries in the area so we planted six varietals of raspberries (totaling approximately 6,000 plants on 3.5 acres). Since our first crop in Summer 2013, we have had the opportunity to provide our raspberries to local businesses (including The Come Back Shack in Boone, NROG, Lowes Food in Boone and Tyncastle, Fred’s Mercantile Store on Beech Mountain, and The Palace Green Freezer Jams as well as participants in our original “You Pick” Saturdays.
In continuing the theme of high quality local produce, our family wanted to grow fruits that also had significant health benefits and antioxidants. Because of their dark color, blackberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits and are suggested to help manage diabetes and fight cancer cells. We have planted five varieties of blackberries (totaling approximately 2500 plants on 2 acres).
One of our fondest memories in bringing our two daughters to the High Country was taking them to pick their own fresh blueberries in the summer at Ralph Gwaltney’s blueberry farm on Beech Mountain. We noticed that many of these “You Pick” establishments have gone out of business in the past few years. We wanted to ensure that something that was so special to our family continued to touch the lives of other families in the local area. So, we planted five varieties of blueberries (totaling approximately 825 highbush plants on 1.5 acres). In 2014 we planted an additional 400 plants. Summer 2015 will be the first crop of blueberries for our “You Pick” days.
Our family has always loved wine so several summers ago we took a vacation to the Russian River Valley in California. After this trip, we were truly impassioned by the diversity of ways to grow wine and the varieties that our unique climate in the High Country would enable us to produce. We chose three varietals of wine grapes (totaling approximately 4,000 vines on 4 acres) that would provide us the ability to make red, wine and ice wines. Besides growing high quality grapes, we wanted to yield quality juice for local area wineries to ferment into outstanding North Carolina wines. In 2016, we look forward to partnering with a prominent local winery, Grandfather Vineyard and Winery in order to bottle wines with Bethel Valley Farms’ grapes. Please see the “About Us” section for information about the Bethel Valley Farm’s role in the submission of the application for the Appalachian High Country AVA (American Viticulture Area).