Getting to the Core of the Apple Industry in Delaware
Right now, there are more than 150 acres of apple orchards in the state of Delaware.
T.S. Smith & Sons is an 800-acre family-owned farm in Bridgeville, Del. – and the sweeter half of the much-anticipated Apple Scrapple Festival this coming weekend, Oct. 9 – 10.
The orchard’s fourth generation partial owner, Tom Smith, says he was part of the original board that helped create the annual festival. “It’s my biggest retail time of the year,” said Smith, “it brings more than 20,000 people to Bridgeville in one single weekend.”
Also, he says it impacts more than the bottom line in Sussex County. Smith says, it’s a very bustling and exciting weekend for the small, sleepy town of Bridgeville.
The local orchard, yielding 60 acres of apples – in 12 delicious varieties – has been around for more than a century. But that’s not the only apple producer in town. Fifer Orchards in Dover, Del. has been around for nearly 100 years as well. Fifer produces 25 varieties of apples late June through October, each year. They provide many local stores with produce, along with their Farm Cafe and Country Store locations in Camden-Wyoming and Dewey Beach.
- More than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America.
- Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber.
- Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
- Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.
- Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds.
- Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. Apples account for 50% of international deciduous fruit tree production.
- A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.