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It must have
been a real headache to have been a produce manager in the
early 1900s when almost one thousand varieties of apples
were marketed in the US and likely nearly as many in Canada.
What happened to all the varieties? Some dropped out of
the marketplace when sales declined because consumers found
other varieties they preferred. Some varieties, although
popular with consumers, went out of favour with growers
because of production problems. More recently, varieties
have dropped by the wayside when they didn't perform well
You are probably
familiar with and sell these Nova Scotia grown apples: McIntosh,
Cortland, Spartan, Red Delicious, Gravenstein, and Idared.
Maybe you even sell Nova Scotia Golden Delicious, Northern
Spy, and Golden Russets. Probably you sell one or two of
the varieties that don't grow as well here, such as Granny
Smith or Braeburn.
How many other
varieties can you think of? Two, or maybe three? Do
you know if they are local apples or imports? There are
at least 40 other varieties of apples grown in Nova Scotia,
although not in the same quantities as the varieties mentioned
above. Some could be available, in season, in modest quantities.
some early varieties in your department. These are the ones
that are ready before Gravensteins or about the same time,
such as Vista Bella, Jerseymac, and Paulared. Many consumers
anxiously await the first apples of the season.
There are a number
of interesting varieties that become available as the season
gets into full swing. Among the older ones are: Cox's Orange
Pippin, Golden Russet and King. Some of the newer ones are:
Gala, Jonagold and Empire.
Have you had
older customers ask, "Why can't I get the old-fashioned
Gravensteins that I used to eat?" Perhaps someone has
said, "We used to have some kind of a Pippin tree when
I was growing up, and the apples were so good." What
do you say to these customers? Have you tried offering an
alternative, or checking with your wholesaler to see what
might be available? When you consider the age of the consumers
that shop in your department, you might decide that you
could sell quite a few apples to these 'nostalgia' buyers.
the newer varieties for sale, be sure to have some information
nearby, such as recipes and home storage tips. This information
should be available from your packer or the Nova Scotia
Fruit Growers' Association.
here for a page showing some Nova
Scotia apple and pear varieties.