Skip to main content

Pick 'em: 'Super' apple crop awaits as Minnesota orchards open

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Harsh winter? Late spring? Bah!

Neither could put much of a dent in Minnesota's crunchy, juicy, tasty apple harvest that will mark its unofficial opening this weekend as dozens of orchards begin welcoming visitors.

Charlie Johnson, the president of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association, says in a state Agriculture Department announcement heralding apple season: "The harsh winter weather has affected some varieties, in some orchards, but most producers have come through the winter with an excellent crop!”

That's consistent with what a University of Minnesota fruit breeder told the Pioneer Press.

"The (apple) quality this year is looking just super," said Jim Luby. "With this nice mild weather, the quality of what we've been eating is so good."

Not that eating apples is the only reason to visit an orchard. The Pioneer Press notes that as a day trip to an orchard has become a more popular autumn outing for urban families, apple growers have extended the list of available activities.

These days you might be able to ride a pony or a hay wagon, get lost in a corn maze, or even taste some local wines.

And they also have apples.

The official state fruit, the Honeycrisp, is not quite ripe yet (the late start to the growing season has pushed some varieties later into the season) but experts say several other kinds of apples are ready now. says the USDA has estimated the nation's apple crop will come in just a little shy of 11 billion pounds this year. That kind of supply is large enough to keep prices lower than growers would prefer, the Houston County News reported last week.

How to make use of these ripe red beauties? Well, you can consult this chart from the Apple Growers (we like the ones in the "eating" column):

Or, like WCCO, you can see what the chef at the St. Paul Grill suggests.

This embed is invalid

The growers also offer a tool to help you find an orchard near you.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 4.48.45 PM

Bloomington PD announce what's likely 'largest fentanyl bust in Midwest'

The case is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Sept. 27

This week's report represents data collected Sept. 21-27.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 2.56.10 PM

MN health officials warn of potential for measles outbreak amid rise in cases

A recent case among a child with no travel history is prompting heightened concern.

skid steer

Four-year-old boy dies in accident on western Wisconsin farm

The boy was struck by a skid steer, according to police.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 2.41.51 PM

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge hits the market for $6M

The restaurant will remain open while the property is on the market.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 12.27.48 PM

Apartments, brewery proposed for site of former Minneapolis lumberyard

The developer is proposing two buildings connected via skyway.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 1.27.38 PM

'Exceptionally rare' meteorite impact crater found in the Twin Cities metro

Had it struck in today's world, much of the Twin Cities would've been wiped out.

Grand Old Day

Organizers seeking ideas for 'reimagining' of Grand Old Day

A task force is set to begin meeting next month to reimagine the event.


Eveleth man gets 11 years for selling woman fentanyl that led to fatal OD

Torisa Sulvoris Wallace, 39, was sentenced to 134 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Virginia Thursday.


Orchards are open and apples are abundant

Minnesota’s apple orchards are open for business, and some early varieties are available. But you may have to wait for some, like the best-selling HoneyCrisp. The Agriculture Department says many varieties are ripening later than usual due to the cool weather this spring.