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The Great Apple Harvest: U.S. Edition
On average, US consumers eat 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products per year! 61% of that is fresh fruit from any of the thousands of beautiful orchards that cover the countryside.
Considering that fact, it’s not hard to guess apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use. They’re also very sturdy and store well for use beyond their peak season.
Note: The northern hemisphere’s apple season is typically from as early as July to as late as November. The peak apple season is September and October.
Fun fact for those of you who enjoy eating apples year-
2017 is shaping up to yield a good apple crop across the states. You can expect the apples to ripen on their normal schedule, if not a week or two early.
U.S. Apple Varieties
Approximately 2,500 varieties of apples are grown here. Varieties change over time. As consumer tastes shift, apple growers adapt.
The typical method by which a grower adds a new variety is by trimming the already-
Top ten apple varieties currently grown in US:
1. Red Delicious
3. Golden Delicious
5. Granny Smith
10. Cripps Pink
Alphabetical Listing of most common US apple varieties: Ambrosia, Ashmead Kernal, Arkansas Black, Baldwin, Blushing Golden, Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Crispin, Empire, Enterprise, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Grimes Golden, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Hokuto, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonathan, Jonalicious, Jonamac, Jonagold, Jubilee, Keepsake, Liberty, Macoun, McIntosh, Melrose, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Paula Red, Pink Lady, Red Delicious, Rome, Shizuka, Spartan, Stayman, Suncrisp, Sundance, SweeTango, Winesapp, Yates, YorkYork
Here’s a link to the Index of pick-
While it’s too early to declare apple prices, expect to spend $14-
Another fun fact: Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 bushels that weigh 42 pounds each.
Most modern apple orchards have trees that are very close to the ground, so it’s easy for kids to get involved!
Select firm, bruise-
When in doubt, always ask the farmer which are ripe (calculated from the number of days since the tree flowered)
Apples ripen starting from the outside towards the center of the tree
Once they are picked, apples stop ripening
To pick directly from the tree, roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don’t pull straight away from the tree
Don’t shake the trees or branches
Try to leave the stems on the apples – they store longer this way!
Keep apples cool or in a shaded, temperate place after picking
Don’t wash apples until just before using to prevent spoiling
Interested in selling apples from your own orchard?
Here are some options to think about:
Deal directly with restaurants, retirement communities, caterers, neighbors, etc.
You are your own best advocate! By approaching local restaurants or people in your community directly, you demonstrate confidence in your product and desire to share it with others. This is the only marketing you’ll have to do.
Sell through farmers markets or roadside stands
Yes, this would require more overhead than direct sales since you usually have to pay to participate in farmers markets (either a flat fee or percent of sales for booth space) or have to apply for zoning for roadside sales.
However, farmers markets are seriously popular nowadays, so you have guaranteed weekly flow of people interested in supporting you and your farming efforts. And again, it allows you to market directly with the consumer and put a face on who is growing the apples.
Here’s a link to the national farmers market directory: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-
Create your own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
CSA’s are normally done on a large scale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start one for your apples. Survey friends and neighbors who might be interested to know there could be fresh, firm apples available for pick-
“2017 U.S. Apple Crop Facts.” Pick Your Own, 2017. https://pickyourown.org/USapplecrop.htm
“How can I start selling my homegrown produce?” mother nature network, 18 June 2009. https://www.mnn.com/your-
Written by Zoë Fox Waltz.
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