Niagara Gazette —
While consistency is a factor, the one thing that’s consistent about apple variety preferences is that they’re different for everyone and everything, Murphy said. While she can say that Red Delicious are terrible for pies, someone else might insist that’s their favorite type.
“Everyone has a favorite,” she said. “It’s not a question of knowing the best. It’s a question of knowing the difference.”
What to do ... and what not to do
Above all, when people head out to do some apple picking, the most important thing they should do is remember that, while it might be a lark for them, it’s serious business for those who own that orchard.
Murphy said that when Murphy Orchards started more than 30 years ago, people picked apples because they planned to store fruit for the winter. Today, things are different.
“Today with refrigeration and grocery stores being what they are, most people just come out here for fun, for an adventure,” she said. “And when they’re doing it for an adventure, they think it doesn’t matter if they throw apples at each other
“This is our livelihood. When someone goes to an apple farm, they’re dealing with someone’s livelihood. Each apple is our income, hanging on that tree.”
Robert Blackman of Blackman Homestead Farms of Lockport, which has about 15 varieties of apples this year, also asked for respect from the public.
“We welcome their business, but on the same hand, we ask them they respect our orchards, our trees, that they not climb the trees, because that knocks the fruit off the trees,” he said. “Pick gently, handle the fruit gently, because it’s easy to bruise.”
Orchards that offer you-pick apples have to deal with a “huge” amount of waste, Vizcarra said. Several growers said that apples on the tree need to be handled as delicately as one would handle an egg.