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Festival Foods

Happy fall: Peaking apples
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Fall is officially here and that means it's time to talk those fall favorites including a delicious item peaking this week: Honeycrisp Apples! We recently got a tour of the Oneida Apple Orchard, which not only grows the delicious fall staple for our Green Bay area stores, but it also presses apple cider.

orchard

Jeff Scofield, the director at the farm which is owned by the Oneida Nation, is always looking for new varieties that grow in the sometimes tough-to-predict changing seasons of northeast Wisconsin. He talked to us about what contributes to the  difference between apples from Wisconsin and those that grow on the west coast ...

Among the orchard's newer varieties -- among its 4,500 trees -- are Gala apples and Jonagold apples, which are a cross between Golden Delicious and the Jonathan. The original orchard, planted in the 1980s, had McIntosh, Cortland and Honey Gold varieties. pic2

Scofield noted that no matter what new and cool variety comes along, Honeycrisp has the hearts and minds of apple buyers in Wisconsin. "The Honeycrisp are definitely the most popular," he told us during our orchard tour.

apple2

The growing season went according to the plan too, Scofield said. He noted that if the trees bloom at Mother's Day then they can be picked starting Labor Day, which happened this year.  "This year, compared to the last two years, is probably excellent -- size-wise, color-wise. ... The quality and the size is excellent."

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