Meet the potential of Washington’s apple industry.
Washington boasts huge coniferous forests, which have earned it the nickname Evergreen State. These forests make Washington a leader in the U.S. timber industry. It is cut by several rivers and dotted by several lakes, which creates a favorable terrain for the installation of dams. The country’s largest dam, Grand Coulee Dam, is located here on the Columbia River. Its economy, however, is centered mainly on tourism and the aerospace industry. The second largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, Boeing, has its headquarters in this state, as well as several of its factories.
The first Europeans to explore this region were the Castilians, and later, the British founded the first settlements. The region was originally part of the larger Oregon Country, a territory contested between the Americans and the British between the 1810s and 1840s. In 1846, the Oregon Treaty established that all lands south of the 49th parallel in Oregon Country would pass to U.S. control (with the exception of Vancouver Island). Until 1859, Washington was part of the Oregon Territory, created from the U.S. portion of Oregon Country. In 1859, Washington Territory was created and named for George Washington.
Gala Apple Harvest in Washington Wonderful Apple.
“There is a growing consensus that the 2020 apple crop will be lower than previously published estimates. This can be attributed to both a reduction in the number of bulk garbage cans harvested and lower conversion yields to packed boxes, ” says James Foreman, chairman of the board of directors of the Washington Apple Commission.
The state’s 1,260 apple growers produce eight major varieties: ‘Gala’, ‘Red Delicious’, ‘Fuji’, ‘Honeycrisp’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Cripps Pink’, ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Cosmic Crisp’. More than 50 other “club” or proprietary varieties are also grown in Washington. In addition to being the nation’s leading apple producer, Washington accounts for 85% of all organic apple production in the U.S. Apples are the most widely produced commodity in Washington and have a statewide economic impact of $3 billion.
Between the Columbia and Snake rivers lies the vast Columbia Basin. On its rich volcanic soil, fed by the cool waters of the Columbia River, extensive acres of apples are grown. Blessed with a long growing season, the basin is noted for producing large apples and late-ripening varieties.
Jeff Mills is an apple farmer from Orondo, Washington. He lives with his wife Kerri, a fifth-grade teacher, and their two sons Michael and Reed. The family’s 75-acre orchard boasts six varieties of apples – Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Braeburn, Fuji and Cripps Pink.
Meet Mark Stennes, a fourth-generation grower from Pateros, Washington. Mark’s great-grandfather came to live there in 1894 and planted his first apple trees in 1900. The original 55-acre orchard was expanded in 1984, now boasting 250 acres of fruit trees. In addition to 60 acres of apples, including Fuji (organic), Honey Crisp (organic), Gala, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, Mark grows pears, cherries, plums and apricots.
Get to know the fields of Washington Apples
Apples are one of the most nutritionally complete fruits, due to the antioxidants contained in the pigments of their peel, they are rich in fiber, and an excellent source of potassium. Washington apples have stood out for their flavor, due to the nutrient-rich volcanic soil of this area, its arid climate, abundant and crystalline water, as well as advanced cultivation practices that have led to the birth and prosperous operation of Washington apple orchards to produce high-end fruits appreciated by several countries, including Mexico.
“We are fortunate to document the apple production process through nine videos where we put a face to this industry. They are stories that show us the human side of the trade, its technology, food safety, transportation, marketing and the life cycle of a tree. As well as the history of the fruit and its varieties.”
The Washington State Apple Commission pays tribute to all the farmers who work every day so that Mexicans and consumers around the world can enjoy Washington apples, considered a “super fruit” and one of our favorite foods thanks to its benefits and contributions to our health and the well-being it offers to our families.