Harvest Hosts is an incredibly unique RV membership program. Through this program, members are granted access to 1139+ host locations across North America for free overnight accommodations. Members are simply asked to make a small purchase at each of these businesses. Locations include establishments such as farms, wineries, breweries, museums, restaurants, attractions, and more. Justus Orchard is a prime example of one of our awesome hosts. Located in the Southwestern corner of North Carolina, they have been growing fruit on their farm for years. Continue on to learn all about the farm, its history, the business today, and its joining of the Harvest Hosts program.
The Justus family has been growing fruit in their orchards for over 100 years. Pete Justus and his father began growing apples at Justus Orchard in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The farm continued with Ken Justus who grew apples with his father, Pete, from the 1940s through 1960. Ken and his wife Glenda Justus continued the apple tradition into the 60s and 70s. In the early 1970’s Glenda Justus was one of the first in North Carolina to invite customers to not only buy apples that were already picked but to go into the orchard and pick their own apples.
From 1985 through early 2000 came the next generation, when Don Justus started growing apples with his father, Ken. The duo grew apples for many big named companies like “Gerber” and “White House” and had just a few fresh apples to sell in the fruit stand. Ken, Glenda, Don and his wife Margo continued to work together for twenty years.
In 2006, Don and Margo Justus took the reins and changed course to no longer sell apples to big named companies and shifted their business to focus on Agritourism. With this came an expansion to the sales area, a bakery, animals to interact with and a play area for kids, including a huge Jumping Pillow. Don and Margo continue to run operations at the orchard. They love what they do, and they love sharing Justus Orchard with others!
The Business Today
Today, the Justus family continues to operate a successful farm operation in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They offer u-pick blackberries in the summer and twenty-two varieties of u-pick and we-pick apples in the late summer and early autumn months. Inside their apple house, the farm operates their own bakery with homemade fried apple pies, apple cider donuts and apple cider slushies. They also sell a variety of jams and jellies, as well as other products made from their fresh fruits. The farm has plenty of fun activities for children and offers educational tours (must be scheduled ahead of time). In the fall, they also offer hayrides and pumpkins.
When asked what they love most about running their business, Don and Margo replied, “We love watching what is possible to grow each year, with God’s help, a big beautiful apple crop. We are now up to 22 different varieties of apples available.”
Joining Harvest Hosts
Justus Orchard joined the Harvest Hosts family about seven years ago. Since then, they have met folks from all over the country by being a host destination. Although they are a seasonal business, they still allow Harvest Hosts members to park overnight year round. Members with children have especially enjoyed the family-friendly experience found at this lovely farm. They have two pet-friendly spaces available for RVs of any size.
According to the Justus family, the best way to keep up with their current harvest is to check out their Facebook page under Justus Orchard. If you are planning to visit, it’s recommended to stop by in the fall for the full experience. Don’t forget to bring some extra goodies home for you loved ones! 🍎🍏
Have you ever visited Justus Orchard? What was your favorite part? Tell us about it below!
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