Cultivating apples….

has a long history spanning over 3000 years. The apple is in the pome family – a fruit whose seeds are embedded in the core of the fruit.

Our apples are sold in 1/2 peck, peck and 1/2 bushel bags. When available, we will sell windfalls and seconds. Depending on the crop, we may offer U-Pick apples of Cortlands, McIntosh or Red Delicious. Please view the varieties of apples we grow.

Cultivating apples has a long history spanning over 3000 years. Apples are constantly being improved by selection and hybridization, but they still can be found in the wild state. Commercial orchards were established in this country by 1750.

Apple trees require year-round care and treatment, beginning with pruning in January. (It takes 4 people about 3 months to do 20 acres.) During January, February and March, the trees are dormant and pruning begins. Limbs are sawed off or clipped in order to allow maximum sunlight and air penetration during the fruit growing season. This allows the tree to produce larger, better colored and higher quality apples. This is also the time when equipment and general maintenance is done to prepare for spring.

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If new trees are to be planted, it is done in spring. The average tree will bear fruit in three years, with full production in 8-10 years. Most of our trees are on dwarf root stock, which allows for more efficient use of land and labor. Sometime around the beginning of May, the buds begin to swell, the brush from pruning is picked up, tall grass growing between the trees is mowed to reduce competition for nutrients and habitat for pests. We also use IPM (Integrated Pest Management) by monitoring the weather and hanging various insect traps. Temperature, humidity and rainfall are recorded at our small, on-site weather station. Both harmful and beneficial insects are counted to determine spray schedules. Spraying is done only when needed to protect the tree, fruit and beneficial insects.

When the King, or the center and largest of the five blossom cluster, opens, pollination begins. Warm and sunny days are needed for maximum bee activity and good fruit set. All trees are fertilized and young trees’ limbs are “trained” to achieve maximum fruiting capabilities.

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Mowing, spraying and irrigating  are continued during the summer months. Late summer and early fall is the final growing season for the majority of varieties.  Red apples need cool nights during harvest to trigger an enzyme which increases the amount of color. Since apples bruise easily, they must be gently hand-picked when the apples are at the perfect picking state.

Learn more about the varieties of apples we grow and what purpose they are best suited for.

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