Kim Eslinger

Brianna Ojard
Associate Editor

David Tinjum

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
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Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
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Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
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Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Jenny Heck
Mill City Cooks
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Farmers Market Archive

It's Apple Season!

Look for local apples at the Mill City Farmers Market from vendors such as Ames Farm, Horner's Corner, WEI and Prairie Hollow Farm. Because NO ONE should have to be subjected to a Red Delicious! ;)

September 2, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Below is an article submitted to us by Fast Horse, a local creative agency, regarding the Honeycrisp:

This year’s fast-approaching apple season marks the 20th anniversary of the Honeycrisp — which revolutionized a bland and slumping apple industry, and paved the way for bolder varieties that are piled high in produce aisles today.

Now, the same family-owned orchard in rural Minnesota that made a bold bet on bringing the Honeycrisp to market finds itself on the forefront of industry innovation, once again.

Twenty years ago, annual apple sales in the U.S. were in a slump. Growers were bent on breeding consistent red colors, rather than focusing on flavor, and mainstream varieties were bland and mushy. In fact, Pepin Heights Orchard, like many family farms around the country, found itself on the brink of bankruptcy. But the little-known Midwestern farm made a big bet on Honeycrisp, which offered bolder flavor and innovative texture.

Flash forward, and U.S. apple sales have been on a steady climb. What's more: The price that U.S. growers receive for apples has more than doubled between 1990 and 2015. That's because, on the heels of Honeycrisp's success, more orchards are producing higher-quality products that consumers are willing to pay more for.

The industry transformation was made possible by Pepin Heights owner Dennis Courtier, who worked with David Bedford of the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program and brought Honeycrisp to the market.

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