December 2, 2021

Apple harvest underway

Area orchards report abundant crop this season

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Kody Cornell, 8, of Locke picks Sansa apples Tuesday at Grisamore Farms and apple orchard in Locke.

Apple season for the state is underway and some orchards are seeing a good crop.

“We had a great winter for apples,” said Reenie Sandsted, a co-owner of Baker’s Acres in Lansing.

The orchard at 1104 Auburn Road had a lot of blooms come in the spring. That means a lot of apples, Sandsted said. “It’s a huge crop,” she said. “The trees can’t hold it.”

While there is an abundance of apples, they are a tad small. A lack of rain in the early summer contributed to that, Sandsted said.

The apples are small, but sweet. “They’re really sweet, a lot of sugar content,” Sandsted said.

The harvest is underway across the state, reports the New York Apple Association. Ginger Gold and Paula Reds came in first in late August, as did newer varieties Sansa and Zestar. McIntosh and Honeycrisp come later this month, followed by Cortland and Empire.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports apple production this year in the state is equal to last year — 1.3 billion pounds.

About apples

• Apples are a member of the rose family, along with pears, peaches, plums and cherries.
• The science of apple growing is called pomology.
• It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
• 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air; that’s why they float.
• A medium-sized apple has about 80 calories.
• Most apple blossoms are pink when they open, but gradually transition to white.
• Apple trees can be grown farther north than other fruit trees because they bloom late in spring, minimizing the chance of frost damage.
• A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds.

— Source: New York Apple Association

The nationwide forecast crop for this year is at 11.5 billion pounds, up less than 1 percent from 2017, according to the USDA. And some state growers reported frost damage during bloom in isolated areas of the state.

Grisamore Farms in Locke is in the swing of the apple season.

“We have a really good crop this year,” said co-owner Joanna Cornell.

That’s following a lousy crop last year, she said. With hot weather the past few weeks, the apples grew in both color and size.

Apples at the farm, located at 749 Cowan Road, are around 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter, Cornell said. “Anything 2 and up is a good apple,” she said.

Grisamore Farms and Baker’s Acres expect their apple seasons to last until the end of October and beginning of November.

At Grisamore Farms, eight varieties of apples are available over the season. At this time Sansa, Ginger Golds and Galas are available, Cornell said.

Eight varieties are available at Baker’s Acres — Burgundy, Cortland, Ginger Gold, Gala, McIntosh, Macoun and Paula Red.

The New York Apple Association reports there is no decline in consumer’s demand for apples.

Most apples are consumed out of hand as a snack.