I learned an interesting fact this week- there are over 7,500 varieties of apples in the world- and 2,500 of them are grown in the United States. Washington State accounts 30% of our apple exports.
Understandably, apples are a part of our life here at Seedpod Farm. I would go so far as to say that my kids are "appletarians"- as we go through at least 6 apples per day throughout the year- and more this time of year when the Seedpod Kids can run outside and pick their snack.
I hadn't realized how much apples were truly a staple for me until I had the opportunity to travel in Europe. I had enjoyed eating from the farmers markets- a taste of this and that, trying new things each day- but it wasn't until I was nearing the end of my trip that I found myself on a little island in Greece and longing for food that was a bit more familiar. I walked by a fruit stand and there was a basket filled with Red Delicious apples. Admittedly, RDs aren't my apple of choice- but I couldn't pass up those apples. After handing the fella a coin I grabbed an apple and turning it around saw a "Grown in Washington" sticker. Of course I looked like an idiot trying to tell those around me that I was from Washington and that this apple might have been grown just miles from my home! It tasted great actually.
When we bought the farm we felt so fortunate that it had a small established orchard with a variety of apples- none of which we were really sure of (except the transparents- which are hard to miss!). The orchard is coming into it's own now. We've been working each year to get it back into shape. It's a lengthy process actually- and I've grown to really, really appreciate fruit farmers- particularly those who grow organically. After taking out a number of diseased trees, we are ready to fill the rest of the space in with plums, pears, and of course- more apples. And then- the waiting begins. It'll be years before we'll be able to enjoy the fruits of those labors.....but it'll be worth the wait.
We also have a few pear trees that haven't done much until this year. I think that bringing on the bee colonies helped- but our crazy short nectar season and drought resulted in a very short bloom time. Regardless, we did get a few pears this year.
I've been really excited to add fruit to each CSA share this year....a taste of what's to come on the farm. Each year will be an improvement- until then, we'll enjoy the fruits of our labor- the tree's labor- and the bee's labor. What a team effort!
Working to Make a Difference: A Bill Becomes a Law