Ben Lynch Orchard - BLOF

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Farming runs in Ben Lynch’s blood. He was born and raised on a farm in Polk County that grew all types of fruits and vegetables, including okra, sweet potato, corn, and pears. When he got older, he left the farm to serve in the military. But before long, he was back to working on the farm.

Before Ben retired and began growing apples full time, he worked with the telephone company Bell South. After a hard day there, his wife would often tell him to work in the orchards for stress relief.

The work in the orchard is year-round and never-ending. Ben gives the apples constant attention and careful inspection, but ultimately, the quantity and quality of his yield depends on the weather. To take advantage of good weather, he has sometimes spent almost 24 hours straight working in the orchards.

Ben works with agricultural researchers at stations in Asheville and Raleigh in order to test his apples and reduce his pesticide use. He also uses IPM (Integrated Pest Management) as an alternative to heavy pesticide use. To learn the latest in apple growing, he attends winter apple schools.

For Ben, all land is special and he treats it that way. He is concerned because chemicals that were outlawed years ago in the U.S. due to their harmful effects are still used in other countries on the food that we import. Despite the hard work, Ben enjoys what he does and it keeps him out of trouble.

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