Apples are grown in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
You can pick your own apples by choosing firm, ripe ones and twisting them off the tree by hand.
How are apples harvested?
Apples are harvested by hand between July and November, depending on their variety. Trained harvesters pick them at different levels of ripeness depending on how long they will be stored. It is one of the most labour-intensive jobs in an apple orchard, along with pruning, which takes place in January.
Smaller, misshapen apples are picked throughout the summer so the remaining apples are of the best possible quality. Once apples leave the orchard, they are sorted and cleaned and separated by grade to be used for different purposes.
Which provinces have the most apple production?
Most Canadian apple production is in Ontario and British Columbia. New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island also grow apples commercially. British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have microclimates that are great for growing apples.
What kind of apples come from B.C.?
B.C. producers specialize in growing more than 12types of apples, such as Gala, Ambrosia, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Spartan. Pink Lady is gaining in popularity.
The benefits of an apple
The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Apples are a nutritious fruit that offer a number of health benefits. They are rich in fibre and antioxidants. Eating an apple is linked to a lower risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Apples may also help promote weight loss and help improve gut health.
Apples are low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. They are a good source of vitamin C.
How to pick your own apples
Choose crisp, firm apples without bruises.
Ask the farmer which apples are ripe. They will know based on the date the trees flowered and will be familiar with the characteristics of each variety.
Apples on the outside of the tree will ripen first.
To pick your own apples, roll the apple upwards and twist. Do not shake the tree or pull the apples directly away from the tree.
Apples that drop on their own are ripe and safe to eat.
Important apple varieties in Canada
More than 100 varieties of apples are grown in Canada. There are about 20 kinds of apples that are important to world trade, and of those, three originated here - McIntosh, Ambrosia, and Spartan apples. The most important apple varieties in Canada are types of red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Honeycrisp, Mutsu, Cortland, Northern Spy, and the three Canadian varieties. You will also find Royal Gala, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Idared apples at grocery stores.
How are apple varieties created?
Apple varieties, called cultivars, are not bred from seeds when a specific variety is bred. Budding and grafting are used instead. In the past, new cultivars came from seeds, but today most come from breeding programs that use international cross-pollinations to make seeds. The seeds then grow into new kinds of apple trees.
Hundreds of cultivars can be found around the world in home gardens and on small farms. Formal collections of apple varieties are called germplasm repositories and Canada’s germplasm repository is in Harrow, Ontario.
Western Coast Insurance Services Ltd. is a wholly-owned division of Western Financial Group Ltd. Insurance products are underwritten by certain licensed insurance companies and are only
available throughout British Columbia, Canada.