apple orchards

Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s September, and apples are clustered on tree branches across New England and New York.  Orchardists are expecting an ample, though not quite bumper, crop across the region.

Autumn is officially here, so of course we’re talking about apples! We have two of our region’s finest apple farmers here in the studio today: Peter Ten Eyck of Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, and Ken Migliorelli of Migliorelli Farm in Tivoli.

American hard cider is making a comeback. There are many high hopes for the industry, which has gotten the welcome mat from New York's chief executive.

A new law that will take effect early next year creates a new type of license for farm cider-making operations. Sonya del Peral    is manager of Albany's Nine Pin Cider Works Company.

She agrees with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who believes that the farm cider operations, which can sell other products such as jams and souvenirs, will promote tourism and help New York agriculture.

The official names of the varieties previously known as "New York 1" and "New York 2" were announced Thursday afternoon by New York Apple Growers.

SnapDragon is described as crisp and juicy like its parent, the popular Honeycrisp. Cornell says RubyFrost will be popular with fans of Empire and Granny Smith.

Cornell's apple-breeding program has taken a new approach to commercializing the new varieties. Instead of publicly releasing them to all growers, Cornell has forged a licensing agreement with a new industry group, New York Apple Growers.

If you are hoping to go apple picking this fall, you may want to call ahead to make sure your favorite orchard is open.

As reported by the Times Union, some capital region orchards will not be open to those looking for ‘pick-your-own’ this year due to heavily reduced crop yields following unseasonable weather over the last six months.