What’s Up With Apples?
There is a shortage of apples this year with supplies from California down slightly and the Pacific Northwest remaining fairly flat. A couple of factors are at play including a continued increased demand for specific apple varieties such as the Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, and a cycle of production that seems to rise and fall every few years as issues arise. Think 10 years ago when the Pacific Northwest committed to increase acreage in organic production that saw prices stabilize rather than continued high pricing. Now there is less acreage due to the high cost of farming and apple trees are also at risk for fire blight, a destructive bacterial disease that kills blossoms, shoots, limbs, and, sometimes, entire trees.
The current domestic supply of apples is dwindling as less Controlled Atmosphere (CA) rooms are being opened. We are left with obtaining only the sizes and grades of apples available until the first varieties of import apples arrive in April. Galas, Granny Smith and Braeburns will start off the season and imports will continue into late July/early August when the first California Gravensteins are harvested.
For the full story on apples listen to Earl’s “What’s In Season” update this weekend on An Organic Conversation. The main topic of the show will be “Cooking for One: Enjoying the Pleasure of Your Own Company.”