Sep 17, 2021
Ontario apples promise great sweetness and flavor this fall

As apple harvest gets under way once again, Ontario consumers can expect great looking apples bursting with sweetness and flavor this fall.

That’s due to plentiful July rains that encouraged fruit growth and hot, sunny August days that have built up terrific flavor – it’s sunshine that changes an apple’s starch levels into sugar.

At the same time, this year’s harvest is expected to be about 15% smaller than in 2020. Ontario apples will still be plentiful, but consumers looking for specific varieties or hoping to visit a pick your own orchard are encouraged to make their plans early.

“If you have your heart set on a certain variety, make sure you don’t put off getting your apples for too long,” Ontario Apple Grower Chair Cathy McKay, who farms near Port Perry, Ontario, said in a news release. “The good news is that apples are maturing a few days to almost a week sooner than usual this year, so it’s a great time to take advantage of nice fall weather and plan a visit to a farm market or pick-your-own operation.”

Spring frosts in some of the province’s apple growing areas contributed to the lower crop volume this year. As well, last year’s harvest was a bumper crop and because apple trees have a natural tendency to “rest” the following year, they will produce less fruit.

“When we consider the large crop we had last year and the frost concerns in the spring, overall the crop is looking good,” adds Kevin Martin, chair of the Apple Marketers’ Association of Ontario and President and CEO of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. “The combination of heat and regular rainfall are providing better than average sizes for most varieties.”

Apples are a healthy and convenient snack as well as a nutritious and tasty ingredient in meals, baked goods and desserts. Ontario farmers grow approximately 15 main varieties of apples along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The farm gate value of the Ontario apple crop is approximately $90 million, which includes sales to fresh and processing markets as well as on-farm/pick-your-own.

The Ontario Apple Growers represents the province’s 200 commercial apple farmers. Visit here for more information.

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