Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eyeing the Apple Crop

This year the summer apple harvest came a little bit lighter, a littler bit sweeter and a little bit earlier around Charlottesville. Hot weather in the first week in April started an early bloom, which led ato an early harvest. Dry weather during the summer produced slightly smaller apples with more concentrated sugar during the early start of the season.

As the leaves start to turn and the air becomes more chilly, the more popular late apples, such as Delicious and Fuji, coming in through October are as full and juicy as ever thanks to the timely rain shower in August.

Last year, Virginia apple orchards produced 4.7 million bushels. In 2008, they produced 5.4 million bushels. The Virginia Fam Bureau Federation expects about 4.5 million bushels for this year. A full production is about 6 million bushels, but 75% to 80% is not unexpected. The dryer weather produced a lighter crop but the dry weather also meant fewer disease problems. The apple harvest is going to be good!!!

At the Virginia Marketplace we have several uniquely delicious apple products, Graves Mountain Apple Butter and La Provencale Cellars Apple Grilling Glaze. We also have Jefferson Monticello Sparkling Apple Cider in Gourmet Gift Baskets.