Skip to main content

Applause for apples: Bountiful year in Minnesota orchards

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

There's apparently no bad apples spoiling any of the barrels in orchards in Minnesota this fall.

The Winona Daily News published a story tracking the harvest in the southeastern corner of the state and in western Wisconsin, where growers reporting high yields.

The paper visited Southwind Orchards near La Crescent, where the warm, sticky weather before Labor Day gave the crop a boost. Southwind sells wholesale to farmers markets, grocery chains, and grows 34 varieties at the orchard, including Honeycrisp.

Owner Byron Hechter said the moisture and cool temperatures this are ripening the Honeycrisp variety up to two weeks ahead of schedule.

“I really don’t know exactly what it is, but there’s something special about Minnesota apples,” he said.

MPR News reported that the apples in the metro area are also ready ahead of schedule, thanks to a relatively cool summer that featured even temperatures.

"Everything is about seven to 10 days early, as far as ripening goes," J.P. Jacobson, president of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association told the Pioneer Press.

Jacobson expects the SweeTango apples to be a favorite with consumers. (SweeTango is a Honeycrisp hybrid variety developed by the University of Minnesota. It's described as being as crunchy as the Honeycrisp, but with more tartness).

Author of "Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook," Beth Dooley gave MPR listeners some tips about varieties to purchase.

For eating, Dooley suggests Whitney Crabapple, Viking, Zestar, Honeycrisp, Duchess of Oldenberg and Hazen. For baking, Dooley recommends combining varieties, like Sweet Sixteen or Paula Red that break down when they're cooked, then combine them with a harder apple like the Whitney Crab, Duchess of Oldenberg or Viking to vary the texture and flavor.

The harvest is expected to wrap up by Halloween. The Pioneer Press published a list of places where apple-lovers can pick their own or buy locally grown pre-picked apples.

Next Up

USATSI_12923669

Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legacy Lot Random (1 of 6)

Gallery: Luxury living is par for the course here

Cragun’s Golf Resort Communities Offer Stunning Views Along with Resort-Style Living

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 8.10.56 AM

Restrictions in place as Emerald Ash Borer found in Sherburne County

The county is now the 36th in the state with a confirmed presence of the invasive insect.

Fire, firefighters

Home that was scene of June standoff engulfed in fire

Authorities arrived to find the home fully ablaze.

Rosland park bridge

Crosstown Hwy. 62 reopens as footage emerges of truck hitting bridge

The westbound lanes were closed in Edina from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday night.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 8.31.42 PM

Flash flooding as torrential rain hammers Cambridge

Flooding and damage from a non-severe storm Wednesday evening.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 4.02.18 PM

Minneapolis nonprofit celebrates anonymous donor's $1.5M gift

Appetite For Change is building sustainable, local food systems in North Minneapolis.

police lights

On the lam since 2007, suspect in MN murder case arrested in Florida

The suspect is one of three men connected to a fatal drive-by shooting on St. Paul's West Side.

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.

U9GqW_wM

Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Related