BOSTON – September 12, 2016 – Governor Charlie Baker today declared September as “Massachusetts Apple Month” to support Massachusetts apple growers, especially during the current drought conditions. The declaration was followed by a visit to Wojick Orchard in Blackstone by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux.
“Massachusetts Apple Month’ is an opportunity to recognize the hard work local apple growers do to produce delicious and healthy fruit from Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I encourage everyone to support Massachusetts’ farmers this month by purchasing locally grown apples and other produce.”
“Despite a very challenging growing season, farmers have been working very hard to bring quality products to farm stands and farmers’ markets, and they have succeeded in doing so,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Apple growers also help support our local and regional economies and participate in a wide variety of conservation efforts and renewable energy projects that advance the protection of the environment.”
Massachusetts boasts more than 140 varieties of apples grown in the state, including local favorites such as McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Gala and Honeycrisp. According to the United States Apple Association, apples contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are excellent sources of fiber, natural plant-based anti-oxidants and the mineral boron – which promotes healthy bones.
“The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources encourages consumers to visit their local farmers’ markets, farmstands and pick-your-own operations. There’s plenty of healthy, high-quality, locally-grown product there that will taste delicious in meals and snacks,” said MDAR Commissioner Lebeaux. “There’s no denying our farmers have had a lot of challenges thrown their way this season; we can greatly help them by purchasing and enjoying their nutritious harvest.”
With approximately 340 apple orchards in Massachusetts on over 4,000 acres of land, the Commonwealth yielded over 28 million pounds of apples worth $20 million in 2012.
Visit MDAR’s farm finder to find information on Massachusetts apple orchards, pick-your-own apple farms, farmers’ markets, and roadside produce stands.