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Orchard Update

April 5, 2019

From Clair Kauffman, our Orchard Manager: Yesterday, a handful of the orchard crew planted 1,138 trees. While planting trees has its inherent challenges, this is always one of the highlights of my year -- it reminds me a little of witnessing childbirth!

Varieties & Harvest Dates - Arranged In Order of Harvest

*** NOTICE ***
Weather conditions often cause ripening dates and fruit availability to vary from year to year. During some harvest seasons, some apples are available before or after the dates shown in this schedule. This apple harvest schedule shows typical dates and is posted for customer convenience, but please don't depend solely on it. For best satisfaction, we suggest that you use your favorite social tool to get our orchard and fruit updates:

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Yellow Transparent

Yellow Transparent

Most of July

A popular favorite of local applesauce makers who prefer a tarter, full-of-flavor apple with smooth, light texture and wonderfully attractive light color

Best Alternate: Earligold or Summer Rambo

Earligold

Earligold

Late July - Late August

A transparent-type variety makes a light-textured, light-colored and full flavored applesauce. This cultivar originated in Washington state a number of years back.

Best Alternate: Yellow Transparent or Summer Rambo

Summer Rambo

Summer Rambo

Late July - mid-August

A grass green-colored Lancaster County favorite for applesauce and apple pies. First grown in France in the mid-1500's.

Best Alternate: Earligold or Smokehouse

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold

Early August - Early September

Our top-selling applesauce variety, with crunch and flavor are great for fresh eating too. Almost as sweet and tasty as Golden Delicious, but ripens six weeks earlier. Discovered by a fruit grower in Virginia after a tragic storm in 1969.

Best Alternate: Earligold or Golden Supreme

Sansa

Sansa

Early August - Early September

The first "real" eating apple of the season. An "offspring" of Gala and also related to Jonathan.Originated in Japan and has tremendous flavor, juice, and crunch.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Gala

Zestar

Zestar!® (Minnewashta cultivar)

Late August - Early October

An early season apple with crisp, juicy texture and a zesty flavor with a hint of brown sugar. Outstanding texture, flavor, and storage life. Developed at the University of Minnesota, who also introduced the Honeycrisp.

Best Alternate: Sansa or Honeycrisp

Golden Supreme

Golden Supreme

Late August - mid-September

A golden colored apple with impressive flavor and texture, much like its parent Golden Delicious. Perfect for out-of-hand snacking and excellent for drying, baking, and making cider.

Best Alternate: Ginger Gold or Golden Delicious

Gala

Gala

Late August - Most of Winter

The most popular eating apple in the U.S. with a glowing red-orange appearance, sweet & wonderful taste, and an excellent crunch. Originated in New Zealand and includes both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious in its ancestry.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Sansa

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp

Late August - Early October

An "explosively crisp" apple, with light, crunchy texture and sweet flavor. Introduced in 1991 at the University of Minnesota. Honeycrisp is also a fine baking apple.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Crimson Crisp

Smokehouse

Smokehouse

Most of September

Originated as a chance seedling behind the smokehouse of a Bird-in-Hand farm in the 1800's making it a Lancaster County specialty. Green skin color and tart flavor compares to Granny Smith. Ideal for all cooking, baking, sauce, and salad purposes.

Best Alternate: Summer Rambo or Grimes Golden

McIntosh

McIntosh

Mid-September - Thanksgiving

A mildly tart, somewhat mellow and aromatic apple that's great for snacking, drying, most cooking purposes, and applesauce. McIntosh has been the premier apple grown in New York and the New England states.

Best Alternate: Cortland or Empire

Jonathan

Jonathan

Mid-September - Early-December

A tart and spicy all-around apple. This variety has great "stay firm when baked" flesh for pies and dumplings.

Best Alternate: Jonagold or Idared

Red Delicious

Red Delicious

Mid-September - Spring

The best known apple, primarily used for fresh eating. Discovered on a farm in Iowa in the 1870's. Originally called "Hawkeye" before Stark Brothers Nursery bought the rights to the apple and renamed it.

Best Alternate: Golden Delicious or Cameo

Grimes Golden

Grimes Golden

Mid-September - Early November

Excellent for pies and cooked-apple dishes. Also great-tasting fresh eating apple with a mellow texture. Discovered by Thomas Grimes in West Virginia in 1804 and believed to be a parent of Golden Delicious.

Best Alternate: Ginger Gold or Golden Delicious

Cortland

Cortland

Mid-September - Early December

An excellent all-around apple with mellow texture, "stay-white-longer" flesh, and makes red-colored applesauce. Originated in New York State as a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis.

Best Alternate: McIntosh or Empire

Crimsoncrisp

CrimsonCrisp

Mid-September - Most of Winter

A crunchy, sweet-tart fresh-eating and salad apple that rivals Honeycrisp.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Honeycrisp

Empire

Empire

Late September - Most of Winter

Combines the best traits of both its parents, Red Delicious and McIntosh. Great for snacks, desserts, and salads, as well as the main ingredient in apple pie.

Best Alternate: Cortland or Red Delicious

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

Mid-September - Spring

Kauffman's best selling apple. In 2014, our orchard crew harvested 2423 bushels of Golden Delicious in three weeks' time. Great for all purposes.

Best Alternate: Golden Supreme or Grimes Golden

Jonagold

Jonagold

Late September - Most of Winter

A large, beautiful apple with mellow texture and great taste. A cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious. Great when blended with a sweet variety for a great no-sugar-added applesauce.

Best Alternate: Jonathan or Crispin

Idared

Idared

Late-September - Mid-December

Developed at the University of Idaho's Agricultural Experiment Station and well-suited for baking, cooking, and drying uses. Used at Kauffman's for making tart apple schnitz.

Best Alternate: Jonathan or Rome

Crispin

Crispin

Early October - Spring

A sweet, juicy, firm textured, crispy, white-fleshed variety developed in Japan, where they call it Mutsu. Great for salads and cooked apple dishes, too.

Best Alternate: Golden Delicious or Cameo

Stayman

Stayman

Mid-October - March

Discovered around the close of the Civil War by J. Stayman, this variety is one of the most popular cultivars grown at Kauffman's. Rich, snappy, and distinctive taste and texture.

Best Alternate: Rome or Goldrush

Rome Beauty

Rome Beauty

Early October - Spring

A better keeping variety that is firm and attractively colored. It has a mild flavor and is good for all baking and cooking purposes. RUsed at Kauffman's for peeling and coring apples for bakeries and restaurants and in Arianna’s Apple Dumplings.

Best Alternate: Stayman or Idared

Fuji

Fuji

Mid-September - Spring

Unusually sweet and extra crunchy. Developed in Japan and claims Red Delicious as a parent. A classic apple for fresh eating and salads and is an outstanding keeper.

Best Alternate: Cameo or Braeburn

Cameo

Cameo

Early October - Most of Winter

Pleasingly sweet flavor, big crunch, and good keeping qualities. The thin skin enhances its fresh-eating pleasure. Believed to be related to both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, Cameo was discovered in Washington State in 1987.

Best Alternate: Fuji or Braeburn

Granny Smith

Granny Smith

Late October - January

The famous green baking apple discovered by Margaret Smith in Australia before 1900. Hard, juicy, and tart. Perhaps the most widely known cooking apple.

Best Alternate: Stayman or Pink Lady

Goldrush

Goldrush

Thanksgiving - Spring

Great for fresh-eating and in baked apple dishes. A disease-resistant apple developed through the combined efforts of Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois. Firm texture and spicy taste.

Best Alternate: Granny Smith or Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Early November - Spring

Developed in Australia and includes Golden Delicious in its ancestry. Sweet-tart, outstanding flavor and very crisp texture. The pink skin and white flesh add to the attractiveness of this variety.

Best Alternate: Braeburn or Goldrush

Frequently Asked Questions About Apples

What is the best variety for fresh eating?

Fresh Eating

We are constantly looking for the "perfect" apple. We haven't found it yet, but we think some of the varieties we grow get really close! Although everyone has their own preferences, there are some apples that seem to "have it all" when it comes to fresh eating.

I want a sweet, crunchy apple.
Try Sansa, Golden Supreme, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Crispin, Cameo, or Fuji.

I want a mildly tart and crisp apple.
Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady

I want a tart and crunchy apple.
Try Smokehouse, Jonathan, Stayman, Granny Smith, or Goldrush.

I want an apple that is flavorful with a more mellow texture.
Try McIntosh, Cortland, Idared, or Jonagold

How many quarts of applesauce can i expect from a half-bushel basket/bag of apples?

10 quarts.

What is the best variety for applesauce?

Apple Crate

Our most popular applesauce apple is Ginger Gold; however, personal preference comes into play quite a bit on this question. The opinions we hear generally fall into one of these categories:

I want a thin, smooth sauce.
The early varieties - Transparent, Earligold, & Summer Rambo - supply this texture.

I want a mildly tart and crisp applesauce.
Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady.

I want a naturally sweet sauce that doesn't need a lot of sugar added to it.
This category is continually increasing in popularity. Use Jonagold, Fuji, Cameo, Gala, Golden Delicious, Golden Supreme, Ginger Gold, or Crispin. Some of the Kauffman wives cook the apples in apple cider instead of water to add natural sweetness.

I like a tart applesauce and don't mind adding sugar.
Varieties listed in category #1 are good options. You may also want to try Smokehouse, Cortland, McIntosh, Stayman, Goldrush, or Granny Smith.

Is it a good idea to blend varieties when making applesauce?

We recommend it! Just as the flavor, body, smoothness, and sweetness of apple cider are enhanced by using a mix of varieties, so it works for applesauce. We suggest using at least one tart and one sweet apple.

Which apple is the best variety for baking?

Again, this depends heavily on your preferences. Most people use a tart or slightly tart apple for optimum flavor. Our top-selling baking apples are Jonathan, McIntosh, Idared, Rome, Stayman, and Granny Smith. New varieties that are baking favorites of our employees are Ginger Gold, Empire, Jonagold, Cameo, and Goldrush. Give these a try, you'll love them!

What is the life expectancy of an apple tree?

Our orchards are replaced roughly every 20 years. This is not necessarily so much because of the trees' health, but rather to stay abreast of trends in varieties, orchard training systems, and customer preferences.