Celebrate by supporting local orchards and apple growers
News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan has declared October as Maryland Apple Month to encourage Marylanders to support local apple growers and the state’s agriculture industry. Citizens can participate in Maryland Apple Month by purchasing locally-grown apples directly from a farm stand or farmers market and by visiting a Maryland orchard.
“Apples are a valuable crop in Maryland and apple growers are an important part of our agriculture industry,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Consumption of Maryland apples increases profits for growers, helps support rural economies, and provides fresh, nutritious fruit at a reasonable cost. I encourage all Marylanders to take advantage of the local, in-season apple varieties this fall.”
October is peak apple season in Maryland and orchardists around the state are growing over 20 different apple varieties, including: Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Ladies, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. More on Maryland apple varieties and where to find them on the Maryland Apple Promotion Board’s brochure.
Maryland is home to 205 farms that grow apples. Many orchards offer pick-your-own apples along with other fall agritourism activities. Pick-your-own operations are a great family-friendly experience that allow guests to learn what life on the farm is really like and to meet the hardworking farmers that grow their food. To find local orchards that offer pick-your-own apples, visit Maryland’s Best website.
“Maryland apples are really good this year,” said Bill Gardenhour, President of the Maryland Apple Promotion Board and a Washington County Apple Producer. “If you haven’t been to one of our orchards and tried our apples yet, now is the time.”
In conjunction with Maryland Apple Month, the department’s Maryland Farm to School program is promoting apples in the new Harvest of the Month campaign. Launched this fall, the campaign serves as a model for schools to feature and promote one or more in-season, Maryland-grown or produced item(s) each month. Funding for the project was made possible through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School and USDA Specialty Crop Block grants. Visit the Harvest of the Month webpage for more information about the campaign. Download the Harvest of the Month – Apple poster here.
Find a local orchard offering pick-your-own apples or a nearby farmers market or farm stand selling local apples by visiting marylandsbest.net. For delicious apple recipes, visit the Maryland Apple Promotion Board’s website. Make sure to tag your Maryland apple-related social media posts with #MarylandAppleMonth throughout October.
For more information on Maryland Apple Month, contact Maryland’s Best at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-841-5770.