1. Such a good article Courtny, I am Luke’s Aunt, Brenda. I so blessed to live right across the road from the Orchard, ain’t I lucky? When Luke brought Amanda into our family she just fit. I’m very close to Luke, when he was in school elementary, I fixed his breakfast while he waited on the school bus. Then they had sweet little Bella Boo, we had many Tea tea parties until she got out of childhood. And then there’s Hunter I didn’t get to see him much but he’s the spitting image of his Dad. You could not ask for a better family, they are so full of information and people that come there leave with new friends forever. The Orchard has always belonged to them at heart. You can see I don’t have his gift of writing. Thank you again your article was SPOT ON. Brenda Hamby

  2. I left the fast life in a large city almost eight years ago and settled in a cabin in the woods not far from Luke and Mae’s Orchard. For years I vacationed here and my heart always stayed in Appalachia when I had to return to Florida. Ultimately circumstances allowed me to move here. So, going to the orchard and store has been a thrill ~ it’s one place I always take my guests if possible. I remember buying Mae’s fabulous tarts in downtown Blue Ridge on a Saturday morning several years ago before they relocated to the current location ~ so happy for them and their accomplishments and dreams. An inspiration.,

  3. Lots of emotions while reading this one. A life that so many could embrace. I am glad that these 2 made the decision to do just that. Definitely want to visit. Outstanding article Cortney.

  4. I met Luke & Amanda about 5 years ago when my husband & I had our own escape from city life. Back then they had a sweet little folksy store in Blue Ridge. I wandered in one day and somehow lost two hours. Thats how it is with them. You are invited to sip some tea, sit, & chat. I have been buying their fire 🔥 cider as well as mountain medicinals ever since. When they bought the Orchard I remember thinking that it suited them to an A – for Apple ! Just walking in to their place transports me to another world. I have always been greeted a with smile & made to feel at home & at peace. I still find myself losing time whenever I go there. I can’t explain it. Between perusing the shelves & reading all the labels to chatting about whats going on in my current life I just feel no reason to grab & go. Instead I take my time & enjoy the space & conversation. My last visit I was on a mission to buy my mom some muscle salve for her birthday. Once there I found myself with a bag full of goodies! Mom got her salve, a pregnant friend is getting some Mountain mama tea, and I got a new T-shirts, some kitchen spices, and some medicinal salves to survive winter as well as some delicious soups & desserts for the chilly ride home. I always leave with a smile on my face. See y’all soon!! Thanks for being here for us! We appreciate all you do!

  5. Who would ever thought I would be reading articles like this on Facebook. I grew up in McCaysville along with 7 siblings . Moved to the big City Near Atlanta to get a job and escape the quite town that the streets rolled up at dark (old saying). Still call it my hometown as I have family living on the land where I grew up.
    They could be my relatives also !

  6. Luke and Amanda are dear friends of my wife Heather and I. She introduced me to these wonderful people. Luke even officiated are wedding. They are some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Thankful to know them.

  7. I love the stories. I come from a family of story tellers just across the way on Sand Mountain in Alabama. Good stories, whittling and great food. Priceless.

  8. Loved reading this piece and love Luke and Amanda’s orchard. As u probably know, many people in this area are kin folks, and I’m sort of one of those folks. I’m a distant cousin to Luke’s dad and proud to be. They are wonderful people, and I love Luke’s stories of appalachia!!!

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