Celebrate fall by visiting New York orchards and farms
ALBANY — With an especially plentiful crop this year, families and individuals in New York are celebrating autumn by enjoying the crisp bite of the state fruit – the apple.
“Last year’s fruit crops, including apples, were devastated by a combination of unseasonably warm spring weather that was followed by freezing temperatures,” said Senator Catharine Young (R, I, C—Olean), chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. “After facing such a difficult year in 2012, this year’s harvest demonstrates the resilience of our apple growers throughout the state.”
New York State is the second largest producer of apples in the United States, with an average of 25 million bushels of apples produced annually. According to the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, the economic impact of growing and selling apples is quite significant, with $233 million of apples produced in the state in 2010.
The wide range of apple varieties produced in the state mean that consumers can find exactly the type of apple they are looking for, from bright red to golden yellow, with a diversity of flavors and textures available that make it easy to find a variety to enjoy.
There are many opportunities to support New York’s farms and orchards throughout the fall. The activities and events taking place across the state extend beyond choosing which of the many types of apples to bite into. There are festivals to attend, opportunities to pick your own apples, corn mazes to navigate, hay rides, pumpkin picking, as well as the occasion to enjoy spiced apple cider, warm cider donuts and many other delicious locally-made products.
“If you have not taken the opportunity to visit a local orchard or farm, I encourage you to join me in supporting New York State’s vibrant agricultural heritage by making it a part of your fall tradition,” said Senator Young.
The New York State Apple Association sponsors a “Pick an apple” website where the public can locate apple growers nearby. Visit www.nyapplecountry.com for more information.