Support Your Local Orchard

As you drive down the road this fall, how many times do you see local produce stands?  How many Farmer’s Markets can you identify?  What have you seen in the local papers about supporting the local economy by purchasing items that are grown in your community?  This is a growing topic across the state and nation as we become more aware of  what is or could be grown close to our homes.

This is the season for apples at local orchards.  Because of the season this year, many have a good start or have already completed their harvest, but there are still opportunities for you and your family to make a trip to pick your own.  Locally grown produce has been highlighted because of the benefits it brings:

•    It’s fresher from farm to table. Many times it’s picked in the morning and on your table for dinner.  It also saves on trucking or shipping costs, so it’s a better buy for you.
•    Better for you, because it’s fresher. Many nutrients decrease with the product aging, so the fresher it is the more nutrition you may be getting from it. Apples are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, pectin and fiber with only 80 calories in a medium sized piece.
•    It’s a boost to the local economy. If everyone would spend just a few dollars with their local producers, think how it might help the local economy since apples are grown in all 50 states.

Today we are talking about apples.  They come in all shapes and sizes with more than 200 different varieties.  Did you know the apple tree is a member of the rose family?   Over half the apples grown (two billion bushels throughout the world) are eaten fresh. Most of the rest are baked into pies or used to make apple butter, apple juice, applesauce, jelly, and wine. Apple juice may be further processed into vinegar. Most apple products are canned or bottled, dried, or frozen. Whatever your favorite apple variety might be, why not try a new recipe?  Here are a couple that I like.

Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap
1 Tbsp. fat free mayonnaise
2 tsp. honey mustard
2 whole wheat tortillas
2 cups washed and dried spinach leaves
4 thin slices of turkey breast
1/4 of a Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay out wraps. Spread the edges of each with mustard mixture. Arrange with a layer of spinach leaves on top. Top each layer with half the turkey. Lay apple slices across the turkey,  fold over the 2 ends of the wrap and roll.

Apple Crumble Bars
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 7 x 11 baking pan. Mix flour, salt and soda together in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, oats, and spices. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Spread half of the mixture in the baking pan. Top with apple slices and sprinkle with sugar. Spread remaining crumb mixture evenly over apples. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA. Keith L. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Director, Ohio State University Extension TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868.

2 thoughts on “Support Your Local Orchard

  1. Pingback: Support Your Local Orchard | Self Sufficiency

  2. We love to support local farmers and orchards whever possible. U-picking is like a sport for us! We u-pick several fruits each year.