Stemilt's Honeycrisp Vision Comes True
by Stemilt Growers
Posted: 2017-09-28 09:06:55 EST

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Once a long awaited dream has now become an exciting reality for Stemilt Growers as they prep for their biggest Honeycrisp apple season yet. The Washington State based company has expanded acreage which will result in more apples and lengthened availability for the highly demanded variety.

“Our Honeycrisp acreage has increased drastically over the last few years,” states Brianna Shales, communications manager for Stemilt. “That expansion gives us an increased supply of Honeycrisp apples which results in longer availability and beautiful, flavorful, high-quality fruit.” 

Stemilt expects that the apple, which is being harvested now, will be available through early summer 2018. Stemilt has also nearly tripled its organic Honeycrisp supply in just one year’s time. “Our organic supply is increasing with multiple varieties, however Honeycrisp has the most growth in a single year,” states Shales. “The Honeycrisp apple is extremely sought after by shoppers and Stemilt continues on its endless journey to find apples that appease their taste buds.” 

That endless journey led to the creation of the program, Inspiration Orchard™ in 2016. Fifth generation farmer and president of Stemilt, West Mathison designed Inspiration Orchard™, a place “Where Flavors Grow” to seek out apple varieties that consumers will love tomorrow. This program focuses on the orchard ground, locales, horticulturalists, varieties and rootstocks and Stemilt’s Honeycrisp expansion fits right in this. “The popularity of Honeycrisp has led Stemilt to seek new strains with higher colors, flavors, and overall qualities,” says Shales. “Between that and our experience out in the field, Stemilt is setting a high bar when it comes to Honeycrisp flavor.” 

Stemilt has been growing Honeycrisp for over a decade. They use various horticultural practices in the field and specific techniques in the warehouse to help counteract the apple’s susceptibility to bruising, while still maintaining flavor and quality. 

“There is a lot of attention in the field to ensure properly coloring of Honeycrisp,” said Shales. “Every apple is hand-picked, its stem clipped to prevent punctures and bruising, and then hand-placed into a bin. We’ve learned a great deal over the past decade about Honeycrisp and all of these little details are resulting in fruit with great finish and eating qualities.” 

With so much growth and development, Stemilt is already planning for the future with new programs, including the upcoming spring launch of their pilot program for premium Honeycrisp, called Honeyhill™. 

“This year is going to be a successful one,” states Shales. “This expansion has been progressing well over the last several years, so to see it come to life is an exciting time for us. Shoppers everywhere have been asking for more Honeycrisp, and we know they will love the qualities of the Honeycrisp that we grow.” 

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About Stemilt 

Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is a leading shipper of sweet cherries and organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

Source: Stemilt Growers