Taste the Flavor!

Idaho farm families helped pioneer the apple industry in the northwestern United States more than a century ago. Many major Idaho apple orchards began producing fruit in the 1890s and the family values still run strong in the industry as many of them are third, fourth, and even fifth generation Idaho apple growers and packers.

Nestled in a valley between the Snake and Payette Rivers near Boise in soutwestern Idaho, the region is perfectly suited for growing the highest quality apples. Idaho’s terrain, microclimate, volcanic soil, and elevation above sea level provide the essential ingredients to guarantee a superb tasting apple. Idaho growers and shippers adhere to strict agricultural practices to ensure the safest and the best tasting apples are provided to the consumer.

Idaho farm families are good stewards of the land, and use sustainable practices to preserve current and future apple crops. Long-term sustainability efforts include pruning trees for the next season when apple trees go dormant in the winter. Pruning along with orchard maintenance and care are necessary to maintain fruit quality and production over the lifetime of the orchard.

As trees awake in early spring, the beautiful bloom of the apple trees can be found with a short drive in the Treasure Valley It’s easy to spot bees working their magic on the apple blossoms during a walk through an orchard in bloom. Pollination is a necessary step for growing apples and, without it, there would be no apples.

Thinning the bloom keeps sure the apple crop consistent in size and volume each year. Along with other thinning techniques, thinning by hand is done every year and usually six to eight weeks after the trees have bloomed. The thinning is another important sustainability method. Idaho apple growers care for their apples and orchards by using efficient, sophisticated irrigation systems. Managing pests with new natural inhibitors is yet another way to ensure the most delicious apples are available each season.

Idaho’s apple harvest begins in August, with Gala apples, and continues through October when Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples are harvested. From August to October, many other varieties will be harvested, including Jonathan, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Rome, and Fuji.

As apples are harvested, they are taken to state of the art packing and storage facilities, and cooled quickly for long term storage. Apples can be stored for several months in a controlled atmostphere with ideal temperatures. Idaho Apple packing facilities are voluntarily tested by third-party auditors for compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to guarantee food safety and provide traceability, all the way back to the orchard where they were picked.

Research is continually conducted on Idaho Apples to improve growing practices, storage capabilities, and flavor. It is also vital to keep Idaho Apples competitive in a global market.

Apples are a rich source of phytonutrient (plant-based) antioxidants; apples and apple juice are two of the best sources of the mineral boron, which may promote bone health.

Idaho Apples are packed by grade standards that exceed USDA standards. A variety of packaging sizes are available for consumers and retailers. Purchase apples that are firm to the touch for the best flavor and crunchiness. Apples should be stored in the refrigerator to slow ripening, and maintain flavor. Refrigerated apples will have a longer shelf life.

Idaho Apples can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Grab a fresh apple out of the refrigerator, or add it to your favorite salad. They make great tasting pies or you can offer a plate of apples with your favorite dip at your next gathering. Use your imagination and come up with a great tasting recipe of your own. With Idaho Apples, the sky is the limit!