Harvest of the Month- The CRUNCH of the Winesap!

Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 | Comments Off on Harvest of the Month- The CRUNCH of the Winesap!

Harvest of the Month- The CRUNCH of the Winesap!

What a fantastic way to start this season of Harvest of the Month! If you listened closely today, where ever you went in Charlottesville you could hear the subtle crunching noise of 3,500 Winesap Apples being bitten into by Charlottesville City School students! These small, bright red apples provided a deliciously sweet snack for some students and added to a nutritious lunch for others!

I went into Ms. Demchek’s kindergarten class at Burnley Moran after passing out the apples and we talked about orchards, what gorws in orchards and what makes an orchard. We shared stories about the orchards that the students have gone to and even about the peach trees at Burnley-Moran that provide some delicious fruit in the Spring. Students were so excited about the apples and (as you will see) loved to bite into them and hold the apples with their teeth. Because the Winesap apples were so small, we even had some kindergarteners able to do it!

This Local Food Hub harvest came from Crown Orchard Company. Crown Orchard Company has been one of Central Virginia’s most prolific fruit growers, boasting seven major orchards spread over a 15-mile radius in Nelson and Albemarle counties. Owned and operated by the Chiles family, Crown Orchard has a storage and packing facility in Covesville, and also owns and operates Carter Mountain Orchard and Chiles Peach Orchard.

When the apples came to us, I was amazed by the way they were packaged. Because Winesap apples are able to be stored for so long, they have to be stored so none of the apples are touching and in a place where the temperature remains cool. So, they although they 140 apples came in a box, they were all placed in a cardboard tray so that none of them touched each other. This is so if one has any damage or goes bad, it doesn’t spread to others. If they touched, we could have had some very rotten apples on our hands.

Winesap apples date back to Colonial times, when they were eaten fresh, cooked, and used to make cider. It is considered a ‘late’ apple with a long storage life, so the fruit is harvested in November and stays delicious through the winter. Some Winesap apples have tiny white specks on their red skin, and others have yellow stripes.

Also, check out our Read Together book! Up, up, up! It’s Apple-Picking Time by Jodi Fickes-Shapiro. There is a copy at each elementary school library!

Check out these amazing photos for students enjoying their apples today!