Tennessee Apple Orchards Get “Reprieve” Thanks to Recent Turn in the WeatherMonday, September 23, 2013 | 10:40 am
-Media Day at Apple Valley Orchard Offers Up Close Look at State of State’s Apples-
NASHVILLE - Apple Valley Orchard near Cleveland will host a Pick Tennessee Products media day on Tuesday, September 24 to celebrate the year’s apple crop. Media will have the opportunity to interview apple growers and area officials, get footage and photographs of visitors, take a tour of the farm, and receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms.
Despite a series of challenges, the state’s apple orchards are on target to produce an average sized crop. Tennessee’s apple crop is usually between 7.5 and 9 million pounds.
“We’ve had a reprieve,” says Dr. Dave Lockwood, professor of plant sciences at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. “High night time temperatures and rain produce adverse effects in an apple’s sugars and color, but now that night time temperatures have dropped and the weather’s been dry, the crop is just getting better every day.”
The McSpadden family planted two apple trees in their back yard in the early 1960’s for what was supposed to be a hobby for Mr. McSpadden. In time, the “hobby” included 40 trees. Mrs. McSpadden saw how much her husband enjoyed his orchard and suggested he plant more trees, assuming her husband would return with another 40. He brought home 400. A new strain of the Gala apple was discovered in the orchard in 1996, and today the McSpadden family tends about 8,000 trees. Apple Valley Orchard has its own cider mill and an apple house complete with a retail bakery.
Who: All Media are invited. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to Pamela.Bartholomew@tn.gov or 615-837-5348 in advance of event. Local and area officials are also encouraged to attend.
When & Where: September 24. The media day event will begin at 11 a.m. local time.