A variety of problems have caused a shortage in the fall apple crop. In looking at the issues, I discovered some interesting facts about the fruit from the New York Apple Association. The state is the second largest producer of apples in the country. It averages 29.5 million bushels annually.
The apple industry provides tens of thousands of jobs. This includes 10,000 direct jobs on 694 family farms. There are 7,500 indirect jobs involving handling, distribution, marketing and shipping apple exports. There are thousands of other jobs involving such areas as agricultural supplies, financial services and apple processing. On average, 13,250,000 bushels, or 53 percent of the harvest, are used as fresh fruit. The balance is processed, with 38 percent of that total going to juice and cider and 47 percent going into canned products.
A newsletter from the Watershed Agricultural Council had a lot of information about efforts to promote agriculture in the area.
Those who want to be personally involved in the effort to get people to buy locally will have several opportunities. This includes the Sept. 29 Margaretville Cauliflower Festival, where the Pure Catskills Cauliflower Lady will appear. She will also be at the Oct. 6-7 Taste of the Catskills Festival in Delhi.
Those who stop by will have a chance to have their photos taken and posted to the Pure Catskills Flickr page. They can write reasons to buy from area farmers on the organization’s graffiti board or post on its Facebook page. Pure Catskills’ goal is it to educate the community about Catskills farms and foods.
The Watershed Agricultural Council’s tagline, “Working Farms + Healthy Forests = Clean Drinking Water” was nominated in the 2012 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards out of more than 1,400 taglines worldwide. Residents can help the effort by by Oct. 5 at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/Tagline-Award?utm_source=WAC+eNews+September+2012&utm_campaign=WAC+eNews&utm_medium=email.