For more than quarter of a century, each September as you pass the Hardy United Methodist Church of Christ in Hardy you may notice the scent of apples, cinnamon and other fall scents as the Apple Butter Gang makes hundreds of jars of apple butter.

The Apple Butter Gang is the nickname fondly given to the United Methodist Women, and some recruited gentleman, who spend the better part of a week carefully peeling, cooking, mixing and creating apple butter as a way to raise funds for church projects. 

More specifically, the funds raised are used to support mission and community work the church does.

The apples are purchased from an orchard in Arkansas and nothing is left to waste. What is not used to create the apple butter, is used to make applesauce.

Watching the group of volunteers work is much like watching a symphony of movement as each of the volunteers is familiar with the task at hand.

This year’s project chair is Valerie Bathrick who said the Apple Butter Gang will be working to create pints and half pints of the apple butter beginning Sept. 21 with the jars being available for purchase as early as Sept. 23.

The cost for a pint is $6 and a half pint is $3 with pickup taking place Thursday, Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Hardy United Methodist Church located at 102 4th Street in Hardy.

There will be a limited number of jars available, and the apple butter is always in high demand.

To place an order, contact a member of the Hardy United Methodist Church or call 870-856-3340.

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.