SweeTango® Apple Harvest is Now Underway
WENATCHEE, WA - It’s that time of the year again where apple growers around the country are beginning to prep and harvest for the fall season. One apple that’s already in the harvesting stages is SweeTango®, which is grown in Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Nova Scotia, Canada—with the Western regions already harvesting and the Eastern and Midwestern regions kicking off harvesting on September 1.
“Stemilt just started harvesting its share of the SweeTango apple crop in Washington State late last week,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt Growers’ Communications Manager. “It’s looking like a beautiful crop with average sizing and great quality, and we look forward to start getting it to grocery stores shortly.”
In addition to Stemilt, other SweeTango apple growers are reporting that overall crop volume is shaping up to be higher than last year. According to a press release, this season’s fruit quality is exceptional so far, with minimal russeting. Rod Farrow, Co-Owner of New York-based Fish Creek Orchards, even went as far to describe this year’s SweeTango harvest as top notch, noting that this is the case thanks to ideal growing summer conditions that featured plenty of heat and moisture.
“We’ve had some good SweeTango crops over the past few seasons, but this one is turning out to be pretty special,” Farrow said.
Fellow New York grower, Mark Russell, Co-Owner of Two of Clubs Orchards, also confirmed that this year’s harvest will yield the larger sizes that shine at retail.
“The red color just started coming on, and my crew is rubbing their hands together waiting to get in there and start picking because, you know, that means we'll all be able to start eating them,” said Russell, explaining that harvest in Rochester will being in a matter of weeks. “But I will make them wait until that blow-you-away flavor kicks in.”
Reporting from the Midwest Region, Scott Swindeman, Owner of Applewood Fresh Growers, noted that while harvest this year for the region is kicking off a few days later than usual, “a great apple is worth waiting for.”
Jennifer Parkhill, Executive Director of the Next Big Thing grower cooperative, which managers the SweeTango apple variety, painted just as positive of a picture for the SweeTango crop on the sales side of things.
“The orchards have ripened well and the harvest is now underway. This early season apple is one of the most flavorful and stunning varieties. The new crop will be on retail shelves shortly, and consumers can look for large attractive fruit on display or smaller fruit for school lunches,” Parkhill said.
Once the SweeTango crop is harvested, the apples are then cooled to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is part of a conditioning process that locks in the apple’s sweet-tangy flavor and ensures the quality of the apple’s prized thin skin yields its delicious crunch. After this process is completed, the apples will be ready to ship, so retailers prepare yourself for a SweeTango autumn starting Labor Day!
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