Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's Apple Time!!

Photos from New York Apple Association
Kids are back to school so that means -- get out and get your apples.

We here in Central New York -- and the entire state, for that matter -- are blessed with loads of apple orchards to visit. You can pick your own apples right off the tree or buy them already picked.

Most orchards also have fresh cider made on the premises and other apple delights.

Go to this New York Apple Association website to learn about apple nutrition, the many different varieties of apples available in New York and how to use all of the various varieties.

Also, click on the consumer info tab at the top of the home page and then click on "find an apple farm market" to find an orchard near you.

In addition, if you have a favorite orchard, check out that orchard's website to see if they have any special fall events coming up. Many orchards have fall festivals and apple festivals to celebrate the season.

New York state ranks second in the United States for apple production. But 2012 wasn't a good year, with many growers losing fruit in the spring when warm March temperatures made the trees bud early and then cold in April killed many of them off.

Production in the state in 2012 was 720 million pounds, down from 1,220 million pounds in 2011 and 1,280 million pounds in 2010. But the value of utilized production was up at $249,790,000 in 2012, compared to $244 million in 2011.

A total of 42,000 acres of land is used to grow apples in New York state. The number one county for apples is Wayne County, with 138 farms, 18,319 acres and 5.2 million trees, according to the New York Apple Tree Survey for 2011.

The leading counties for apples, in order by number of acres farmed, are: Wayne, Orleans, Ulster, Clinton, Niagara, Columbia, Monroe, Orange, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego and Dutchess.

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