Suggestions for celebrating International Eat an Apple Day

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For apple fans, today could very well be considered the apple of their eye.

(No, not because it's iPhone 6 owners' first weekend with their new device. Wrong apple.)

Saturday Sept. 20 is actually International Eat an Apple Day, according to Daysoftheyear.com. It's held on the third Saturday of each September, the site says. Why? Well, nowhere we found quite explains how International Eat and Apple Day came to fruition, but it's certainly being talked about.

Daysoftheyear.com says the holiday "encourage[s] you to celebrate all things apple related."

Some websites posted recipes that include apple as part of the International Eat and Apple Day celebration.

FastHorseInc collected a few, such as a caramel apple tartlet and a kale and apple salad. Epicurious seemed to slant toward desserts, with options such as French apple turnovers, autumn apple strudel and cider poached apples.

But if you missing out on celebrating, don't fret: Apple Day is just around the corner, slated for Oct. 21.

Apple picking tips, locations

One way to celebrate International Eat an Apple Day is by plucking the pomaceous fruit straight from the tree.

The unofficial start to picking season was last weekend, with reports of a "super" apple crop awaiting those who venture out.

FOX 9 put together six "Need to know" tips for planinng an orchard trip.

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The apple harvest was running about a week behind in most places however, due to the unusually cold winter, cool and wet spring, and mild summer.

Despite the late start Charlie Johnson, the president of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association, said apples will be in good supply once the season gets underway.

“But the big, good news this year is that we didn’t have a late spring frost and, for the most part, we haven’t had any hail. Those two can be killers,” Johnson, who also owns the Whistling Well Farm in Hastings, told the Pioneer Press.

Madison.com said 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 earlier this month.

The Mother Nature Network put together a large graphic, explaining the benefits of apples, the different types, and the fruit's history. (Note: The full graphic isn't shown here; click to enlarge and see the entire thing.)

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There are a number of websites that can be used to find an orchard in Minnesota. Among them: The Apple Journal has a list of orchards throughout the state, which you can sort by region; the Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides a searchable list; and the blog PickYourOwn.org lists all the orchards in Minnesota where consumers can pick their own apples.

The popular Honeycrisp apple – one of the variety of apples bred at the University of Minnesota – was expected ripen in mid-September, according to the Minnesota Apple Growers Association. Other varieties such as the Jonathan, Regent and Keepsake won’t be ready for harvest until October, the association noted.

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