At Soons, we grow 85 apple varieties in 35 acres of orchard. Some you’ll know, like the ultra-crisp Honeycrisp or versatile Braeburn. Others, like Northern Spy or Newtown Pippin, are heirloom apple varieties you won’t find many places. And then there are the apples perfect for hard cider – with crazy names like Sheep’s Nose and Ashmead’s Kernel. If you plan it right, you could try a different apple every week at our market!
Why are apples from a small local orchard better?
For us, it’s all about taste. We think a beautiful apple is worthless if it doesn’t taste great. So we grow, pick and grade for taste. We grow varieties suited to our climate, and only pick at the peak of flavor (for some apples, that means picking the same tree several times!)
What does it mean to grade apples?
“Grading” is deciding the quality/use of each apple (1st, 2nds, cider or peelers) – and we do this by hand as well. (We use “peelers” for our homemade apple sauce, apple pies, and apple turnovers.)
We are also very careful about storing our apples – apples like it cold with high humidity. So our coolers are kept at 33 degrees with 90% humidity. Some of our crop goes into special cold storages off site; when apples come out of those coolers in the spring, it’s like they were just-picked!
Apple trees require care all year long, and each spring we plant new trees – some, like Zestar!, Cameo and Goldrush, are now as popular as classic favorites like McIntosh, Empire and Fuji. Our Soons-created varieties – Pilot Meadow and Bonnie St Clair - came about from years of grafting.
Our super skilled farm crew of six picks apples daily from mid-July to early November. (You can pick your own apples here on weekends starting Labor Day weekend!)
We invite you to visit our farm store and taste the difference. Fair warning though – we might turn you into an apple snob. Our customers proudly declare “no more supermarket apples for me!”
Growing apples is a year-round job..........
Hear from grower-extraordinarie Art Soons talking about how we grow apples at Soons Orchards.