Ray Covington sent around an update on the heirloom apple project, which has gotten a lot of publicity. As you can see, there is also bad news for the local apple industry:
Good morning everyone,
I know I said I wasn’t going to have an update before the meeting, but I thought I would squeeze in a few things beforehand. I’ll get to the bad stuff first- no apples. There will be a few scattered here and there but the majority are toast. April 21st, we got down to 25 degrees. Our poor little apples were just not big enough to stay safe for that low a temperature. While we can sustain the loss and keep going, the apple industry in North GA has been severely damaged. I just don’t know what they are going to do.
Our very own Beck Griffin just received a prestigious award. The Georgia Association of Extension recognized her at a banquet recently for all of her hard work and dedication to GA Agriculture. She is such a hard worker and dedicated to promoting Ag at GMREC and throughout the State. Congratulations to her!
The heritage apples are getting a lot of publicity. I have been interviewed by numerous news outlets and taken many phone calls. The history of the apples and their potential is a story that appeals to so many people. The little trees are doing well. They are branching out right now and we have started to train them to have nice scaffold limbs that can hold fruit. I say this because some people think they are already mature and want to sample already! It’ll be about 3 years before we have a significant quantity to do some tastings. We will probably have some public events with people coming to the orchard as well as some tasting events at the farmer’s market. There are just so many possibilities.
I’ll conclude my short update by saying that the tree harvest will be atleast another month from now. The public can still come to the gardens and see their beauty, and with any luck the harvest will extend past early June when they really show out.
Have a great week.
Ray Covington, Superintendent
UGA-Georgia Mountain REC
195 GA Mountain Experiment Station Road
Blairsville, GA 30512