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Published on October 05, 2016

Farmers' Market Fresh Item

Week 23: Apples

All About It:

ApplesHoneycrisp apples are the State Fruit of Minnesota. It earned this distinction in 2006 when elementary students from Bayport proposed it to the legislature.

Honeycrisp apples are great for eating raw. And they’ll store in your refrigerator for up to seven months.

But if you are unsure what apples to buy when visiting an orchard this fall, consider the following tips:

  • If you’ve got apple pie on your mind, Haralson apples are well-known as a good cooking apple.
  • If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Sweet Sixteen apples are great for eating raw and have a spicy, candy flavor.
  • If it’s all about the crunch, then you can’t go wrong with Zestar apples, which can be used for both fresh eating and cooking.

But did you know that all of the aforementioned apples have their “roots” in Minnesota? It’s true! These — along with Honeygold and Regent apples — are just some of the many apples that have been developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota to survive our state’s colder climate.

Tips for growing your own

Next spring, if you want to grow an apple tree in your yard, look around your neighborhood first. To produce fruit, your apple tree will need to receive pollen from another type of apple tree. But one of them can be a crab apple tree. So if you have one near your yard, that should work just fine.

If not, then plan to buy and plant two apple trees. Just make sure they are two different kinds. And make sure you plant them somewhere they will get at least eight hours of sun per day during the summer.

But even under good growing conditions, you’ll still have to be patient. Dwarf apple trees take two to three years to start bearing fruit. And for standard apple trees, it can take up to eight years.

Recipes:

Sautéed Cabbage and Apples

Chicken Thighs With Roasted Apples and Garlic

Cast-Iron Apple Cobbler

Fresh Food Links:

MFMA: Find a Farmers' Market Near You

Minnesota Grown

University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Apples in the Home Garden