Georgia apple leader Adele Mercier, co-founder of Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, died Aug. 19 at 95.
She and her agronomist husband, the late William Mercier, bought a 25-acre orchard in 1943 and expanded it over the years to become one of Georgia’s largest grower-shippers.
“She was here every day,” said operations manager Rob Kaser, “and she was the epitome of an apple a day.”
Kaser recalls her stories of ring-packing baskets — arranging the apples beautifully by hand then putting them on a train heading to customers all over the U.S.
The original 1925 apple storage house still sits on the Mercier property, with its raised slat floors, walls lined in cotton quilts and vents in the foundation and the roof to circulate cool night air in the days before refrigeration and electricity.