North American fruit hunters

You probably won’t see these explorers with pith helmets and machetes, but they are blazing the trail in the fruit world. The Buncombe Fruit and Nut Club will host the next North American Fruit Explorers meeting Thursday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug 11.

The gathering will honor the club’s original founders and educate younger members who “want to know what the old farts have to say for themselves,” says orchardist Bill Whipple on the club’s website. One of the goals is to attract new members to the group. Whipple hopes the younger members will introduce some “hybrid vigor” and bring “the best of the old mixed with the new.” 

The meeting will be like “an old camp revival” with plenty of opportunities for people to share ideas and interact with members young and old. The gathering will use an “open space” model with no official presentations by experts. Instead, the conference will include two days of break-out groups featuring informal discussions on a wide range of fruit and nut topics.

The funds raised by the gathering will go towards supporting the NAFEX library of rare fruit and nut books. $60 includes local, farm-fresh food.


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