New York is one of the largest apple-producing states in the country, growing an average of 30 million bushels of apples annually on over 55,000 acres. This year, we are expecting around 32 million bushels.
Apple production is the legacy of more than 600 family-owned and -farmed orchards, who pass down time-honored farming practices from generation to generation as they innovate and advance the art of growing apples. We are proud of our growers and the apples they produce.
During a New York harvest, apples are hand-picked, carefully loaded into bins, and hauled to centralized packinghouses. Here they are washed, sorted, and gently packed into cartons to ensure quality is maintained through- out the retail and foodservice supply chain. The apples that reach these packing houses (and eventually grocery stores) are the same apples that can be found alongside popular heirloom varieties at orchards, farm stores, and farmers’ markets.
New York apples are available in grocery stores nationally, internationally, and at family orchards where apple-picking remains a classic fall pastime. There are over 150 You-Pick apple destinations scattered throughout Upstate New York, as well as many Picked-for-You orchards, orchard farm markets, and farm stands. These operations act as sources of income for growers and their families and are must-visit destinations for anyone looking to experience why New York apples are some of the best-tasting in the world.
Distinctive flavor is the hallmark of New York’s over 250 varieties, making them perfect for snacking and preparing in favorite recipes. Adventurous eaters can find seasonal heirloom varieties such as Northern Spy, Orange Pippin, and Winesap, in addition to other varieties that are grown in larger supply. Some varieties, like Ginger Gold, Paula Red, and Zestar!® are harvested early in the apple season. Others are harvested in September and through the last week of October, including popular varieties like SweeTango® , Honeycrisp, Gala, Empire, SnapDragon® , McIntosh, and RubyFrost®.
Apple-lovers will be familiar with these fresh-eating varieties, but there are many more New York apples used to make applesauce, apple juice, fresh cider, and hard cider. The revival of the hard cider industry has its roots in the orchards of New York, which is home to about 100 unique hard cider makers and several fresh cider makers. These numbers make New York one of the largest cider producers in the country.
New York has an ideal climate for growing delicious apples, characterized by rich glacial soils and abundant water resources. New York apple growers have deep connections to their land and communities, and the industry provides over 12,000 jobs to rural communities. Growers use integrated pest management strategies and sustainable farming methods to bring their crop to market, and all of New York’s apples are non-GMO. In addition to growing delicious apples year after year, New York growers prioritize environmental stewardship, reducing food miles from orchard to table, and sustaining family farm legacies.
Be sure and visit our website at applesfromny.com to learn more about New York apple varieties and discover the many recipes and how to instructional videos available.