The apple orchard was buzzing with activity here at Sapsucker Farms, but this time it wasn’t the honeybees going from tree to tree, but instead it was interested future apple growers.
On Saturday September 12, Sapsucker Farms hosted a home apple growing workshop where over 70 people from Kanabec, Pine, and Isanti Counties attended. The event was organized in collaboration with the U of M Extension Kanabec and Pine County Master Gardeners.
Keynote speaker, Peter Moe, Director of Operations and Research at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Horticulture Research gave an excellent presentation about apple-growing basics for the Northern Minnesota region. After a quick break for snacks, the attendees did a walk-through tour of our apple orchard as Peter Moe and Jim pointed out features of the orchard and answered questions along the way.
With the fast-growing hard cider market, demand for Minnesota grown apples is growing exponentially every year. Apple growing for cider is an excellent agriculture opportunity for landowners in the East Central Minnesota area.
Consider this. One acre of apples trees has the potential of producing a crop worth $2,500 to $4,000 per year for juice apples, with minimal cost and effort.
Growing beautiful desert apples for the produce section of the grocery store requires a lot of time and costly inputs, and the ugly apples are left behind. But juice apples don’t have to be visually appealing which also means that there is little to no waste and the majority of the apples in the orchard are marketable.
East Central Minnesota has a long, rich heritage of agriculture. In recent decades, we have been sadden to see the decrease of agriculture and the loss of the small family farms in this area. With the ever-increasing demand for more Minnesota apples, apple growing provides farmers and landowners in the area to once again establish agriculture as a source of income and economic growth in this region.
If you are interested in learning more about planting and growing apple trees, contact us and we will be happy to discuss this in more detail.