New York Apple Association's Cynthia Haskins Talks February Apple Efforts and More
NEW YORK, NY - Sometimes it seems like my writing life revolves around apples, the ostensible sun of the produce industry’s solar system and me a faithful orbiter. Once upon a time, my produce career began with a fall apple harvest story, and now I’m starting my 2019 off with a New York Apple Association apple extravaganza—the only way to start 2019 if you ask me, NYAA President Cynthia Haskins, and apple consumers across the country.
From its New York Big Apple Salad Contest (submit your pics before February 28th to be in the running), its 21st year of sponsoring the TCS NYC Marathon, and its brand overhaul that includes a doubling down on all apple-related content, NYAA is making 2019 the Year of the Apple as a means to give consumers not only what they want (apples), but what they deserve (even more apples). I had the chance to sit down with Cynthia to catch up on all that NYAA has in store for twenty-apple-teen.
“New York apples are showing good movement this month. Consumers are usually focused on healthy eating at this time of the year, and our abundant harvest is meeting the demand,” Cynthia said to me. “February is a busy time at NYAA because of our efforts to keep increasing consumer awareness of New York apple varieties. This includes many new efforts that are part of our recent rebranding to Apples From New York®, new demo kits and POS materials for retailers, and updates to our new blog and social media calendar to feature fun, fresh recipe videos—all of which are available for retailers to use in-store to keep consumers’ apple spirits high all year round.”
These new efforts also include grower videos that will be showcased on NYAA’s website, including one that captures the journey of New York apple varieties from orchards to packing houses, retail stores, and finally the hands, mouths, and tummies of New York apple fans.
In addition to the business consumers’ healthy eating brings, Cynthia told me that winter is also the time when New York’s 600 apple growers do some upkeep to prepare for the upcoming fall.
“Our growers are currently meticulously pruning their apple trees, making sure each one has optimal light balance during the growing season. Having the right light balance is part of what gives New York apples the color and flavor they are known for—and pruning trees is a good way to ensure a great harvest in the fall,” Cynthia explained. “There are more than 11 million apple trees spread out across 55,000 acres of orchards in New York state, so pruning takes time. The process takes great care too because each bud has the potential to become an apple. The goal is to achieve tree uniformity from top to bottom. Also, growers want to identify weak limbs before the season starts, because if a limb breaks later, the tree will want to put up new shoots to fill in the space, potentially blocking light to other buds.”
And, just as NYAA's fall harvest kicks off, the TCS NYC Marathon (November 3rd) will witness three generations—Golden Harvest Farms apple grower and NYAA Board Member Douglass Grout and his wife, Amanda, daughter, Caroline, and mother, Jayne Zinke—train for and run in this big event. NYAA’s Assistant Account Manager Cailin Kowalewski will also partake in the race. NYAA will be tracking their training progress on Facebook and hoping to encourage even more consumers to eat healthy and live healthy with New York apples.
As is the case when it comes to apples, there’s so much to look forward to, and AndNowUKnow is right there with NYAA in celebrating every apple win.