How You Like Dem Apples?

pink-pearl1Perhaps one of the best things about this Summer-Fall hybrid season is apples! As many MCM shoppers know, everything you thought you knew about apples before is probably not even half the story.

With over 30 years of experience, Dave Hale and the whole Hale Apple Farm crew can find the fruit to mach your taste buds. Whether you are looking for something tart and crisp to bite or something soft to bake, they will have it. At the farm, you can expect to see cameos, red delicious, rome beauties, fujis, and more! However, the apple business has not stayed as sweet as the delicious fruit over the years. Dave-Pink-Pearl-2Back in Sonoma County, where Hale Apple Farm makes the magic happen, apple orchards have been moved aside for more profitable grapes. Even counting a two-buck-chuck, wine is just more profitable than apple juice. That, and because most people separate their favorite apples by flavor rather than orchard, branding is also more profitable in the wine industry, than for apples. There was an applesauce boom during WWII, but since then the price of an apple has fallen and changed the game for farmers. Sonoma went from 17,000 acres of apple orchards in 1947 to just over 2,000 today. For Hale Apple Farm, this means that they have had to down scale a number of times and now only sell directly at farmers markets like ours and to other trusted organizations. For the rest of us, this means that many grocery stores only carry a small selection of possible apple varieties. These apples usually come from orchards that have sold out to food corporations. Large scale production may make economic sense, but the flavor and variety of the apple can be sacrificed.

420ca346-d1f8-49ea-8c8e-33e7c59a4330Lucky for us, but this is not the route that Dave at Hale Apple Farms took. Up in Sonoma County, he still has his orchard with rows and rows of delicious apples ready to be sold at markets. Granted, the life of an apple farmer is not all cinnamon sticks and cider. In order to keep selling his fruit, Dave spends many long days driving to different markets, packing and repacking, driving and selling, to make it all work. “Like anything else, if you love it, it does not really matter what you have to do”. And thanks to that attitude, you can see Dave smiling and selling his sweet surprises Thursday to MCM. So if you stop by their stand and ask Dave, “how you like them apples?”, expect a passionate response.

Posted on by Mission Community Market in Blog

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