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Sep 2, 2011 09:14 PM

It's Fresh Apple Season!

Fresh apple season soon begins here in California, but the California Dept of Agriculture has sure screwed it up! Why? Because for the recent past years it has been illegal to import apples into this state unless they have been certified as meeting the Dept’s 60 day cold storage requirement.

Yes that's right . . . the apples that you purchase today in our supermarkets, are most likely imported from Washington State or overseas and abroad. These apples will have been in mandatory cold storage for 60 days prior to being sold. This chill requirement (for pest control) does not apply to California's apples, but unfortunately, today’s California apple crop is very small and is shrinking every year due to the popularity, price, and volume of imported apples. In Sebastopol, California (a prior king of California’s apple orchards), their apple farms are now being rapidly converted into more profitable wine vineyards. Gone are the days when you could buy new season crop apples in your local supermarket, picked fresh off of the tree!

So I plead - does anyone know where to purchase a case of fresh picked apples from perhaps the San Joaquin Valley? I prefer the cold weather Courtland apples of New York, but FedEx / UPS won't ship them without the Calif Dept of Agriculture’s 60 day cold storage certification.

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  1. Looks like you are near Los Angeles (from your profile), so how about picking your own at Oak Glen?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks- I know about Oak Glen. just didn't want the hour drive with fighting the mobs and crowds. Looking simply for UPS shipping.

    2. Then how about the dozens of area certified farmers markets where California farmers who bring their produce to you? The certified part is important, as there are some shady vendors who aren't growing their own stuff.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Professor Salt

        Thank you, but farmers markets in Southern Calif seem meager to me, and their goods appear indistinguishable from that of such produce found in the regular supermarkets (no hard-to-find yellow corn, watermelon with seeds, ect). I was not aware of the importance of certification however.

        By intense search I have discovered Walker Organic Apples located in Sonoma County.

        Walker apples come from an apple orchard that was established in 1910, and they ship many seasonal varieties by the bushel. They are located in Calif.and thus can legally ship without any lengthy cold storage requirement of a sealed warehouse pumped full of ethylene gas.

        Apples purchased in the grocery stores today could be leftovers from last falls crop (the science is that good). Apples today, are a year around commodity irregardless of their season. . .

        tip - when in the store, look at the apple's stem - if it's brown its old, if its green (unlikely) its probably fresh.

        Walker Apples (707) 823-4310


        1. re: jbermo

          I don't know what farmers markets you've visited, but apparently the multiple Santa Monica markets and Hollywood markets aren't among them. They will give the ones in Nor Cal a run for their money, even if the farmers (generally) are from Fresno and points south.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            I agree; for a specific recommendation: Check out See Canyon apples at the Wed farmers market in SM. They have fantastic apples and a wide variety.

            1. re: Professor Salt

              have to agree with Prof Salt and AAQjr. I eat apples almost every day, and the apples at the local FMs easily trump the supermarket stuff. There was a noticeable dip in supply during July/August, but saw Ha's at the saturday FM on Arizona in Santa Monica. They, along with at least a couple of other growers, are offering what looks like the first of the new season. Give the local FMs a walk-through, and I think you'll find the offerings only getting better at this point.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                good eye! and co-coincidentally see canyon leaves the market in May when they sell the last of their winter\spring apples and just got back to the market with their new crop