Apple Orchard Gang
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Orchard Trail Tips and Advice
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Please note: The Orchard Trail is a free service to the public. We make every effort to keep it accurate and current. Please read this before making your weekend plans. Then enjoy your visit to the orchard.
Canadian, Latin American, and overseas visitors: The following (mildly scolding) disclaimer is mainly for the edification of our American visitors and we appreciate your indulgence.
- The listings here may not be always completely accurate. Please call ahead before driving out. Orchards are turning into golf courses and condominiums at an alarming rate, and we can't always keep up with that. There are over 9,000 growers for us to keep track of and we can't always be on top of every change.
- Area codes are changing faster than we can update them, and there seems to be no definitive way to get information from the phone companies.
- Most of the incorrect listings in Orchard Trail are the result of information taken from the departments of agriculture in the various states. We have no control over that.
- Family fruit farms are under tremendous pressure from foreign competition. That competition has caused the virtual collapse of wholesale prices and contributed to a decline in the resources needed for domestic development. Don't be surprised if many local farms go out of business in the coming months.
- The listings are for working orchards. They are growing crops. Fresh apples are not like cans of soup on the supermarket shelf. Crops can fail. Sudden hail and windstorms can destroy crops. Some years are good, some are bad. Different varieties of apples are available at different times during the season.
- If you are in a mood to complain (and who isn't once in a while?) you might consider asking your local representative why agriculture is not a higher priority in your state's budget. Ask the personnel at your local supermarket chain why it is that American farmers are getting prices that are half of what they were just a few years ago, and yet retail prices for the consumer are higher. Ask representatives of the federal government why China is permitted to dump millions of tons of processed apple products on the United States market, in violation of their trade agreement with us, and at the risk of losing our agricultural base. Worried about our dependence on foreign oil? Imagine if we become dependent on imports to eat. Ask why the developers of shopping malls and sub-divisions are receiving tax breaks and other subsidies, while the tax burden on farmers grows and grows.
" I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter's evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream... I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people's tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting."