You might giggle about how this article came to be. The whole idea of writing a piece about Yakima Valley apples might seem silly, but to me, it’s a matter of principle. (And proving I was right!).
It all stemmed from a disagreement my boyfriend and I were having about a local grocery flier that was depicting Yakima Valley apples. I was trying to say that the ad was depicting varieties of apples from Yakima Valley that were on sale, and he begged to differ, saying that not all the varieties listed were from Yakima Valley. This silly disagreement actually escalated and was getting so heated that finally, I started laughing like a lunatic telling him I didn’t care about the stupid apples anyway, nor where they came from, and couldn’t believe we were arguing about apple varieties. It was all so surreal that apples could mean so much, to either of us. But really, it all comes down to principle, and who was right. So I thought to myself this morning, “That’s it, I’m investigating this apple thing, I can’t stand not knowing.”
So….needless to say, that is how this whole thing started. I hope you enjoy learning a bit about Yakima Valley apples and hopefully, by knowing all this apple stuff, you may even win an argument about them if ever needed.
Some say the world’s best apples come from Yakima Valley orchards. More than 185,000 acres of orchards are grown in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains in which Yakima Valley is nestled. The most popular apples that come out of Yakima Valley are; Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold, Fuji, Gala and a few others. -By the way, the one’s listed in the flier were; Royal Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Large Honeycrisp)….(clears throat)…yes, indeed, I was right all along…but don’t tell him that, it may start another row!
Yakima Valley is most well known for, first, its apples, then cherries, hops, and grapes. Other main fruit crops are pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, and apricots, as well as many vegetables. In recent years the popularity and production of cherries has risen significantly. Another up and coming area of interest is organic produce, as more and more people are seeking out organic, local foods.
” More than 99 million boxes of apples were picked for the fresh market in 1996 to supply half of America’s fresh apple needs and satisfy customers in more than 40 countries around the world, and Red Delicious comprised 59 percent of the state’s total crop that year.”-http://www1.american.edu/ted/applemex.htm
“The total U.S. apple production in 2009 was 19.1 million pounds. Washington state accounted for more than half of total production.” –(US Census Bureau, 2010)
There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples, but only about 100 are grown commercially in the U.S., most are grown in Yakima Valley and the Cascade Mountains. Eight varieties account for 80% of total U.S. production- Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Jonathan, York and Stayman.
Apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.
The Albemarle Pippin is a red-striped, yellow apple, also called Yellow Newton Apple
The “Flower of Kent” is a large green skinned apple variety, and is thought to have been the variety that struck Sir Isaac Newton.
The apple is the state fruit of New York, West Virginia, Washington and Rhode Island.
There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples. Only about 100 are produced commercially in the United States.
Yakima Valley orchards harvest a wide variety of apples, most popular are:
Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith,Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Red Rome Beauty,Gingergold, Heirloom, Cider apples, Empire, Jonathan, York, and Staymen.
To see all the varieties, check out all about apples; here.
Washington Orchard Listings
2550 Borton Rd.
Yakima, WA 98903
Phone: (509) 966-3905
Open: Year Round, 7:00am-5:00pm
Description: 3rd Generation Family Business that is a Grower and Shipper of Washington State Apples, Pears, and Cherries. Farms over 4,000 acres of its own fruit whiling packing and marketing over 5,000,000 boxes of fruit worldwide.
Apples: Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Cripps Pink, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Red Rome Beauty, Gingergold
Other Fruit: Bing Cherry, Rainier Cherry, Lapin Cherry, Van Cherry, Sweethart Cherry, D’Anjou Pears, Bartlett Pears, Bosc Pears
Brandt (Paul F.) Orchards
3031 Lateral One Road
Wapato, WA 98951
Phone: (509) 877 2040
Description: On Farm Fruit Stand specializing in quality and service. Fresh Apples for sale at wholesale prices. Small and large quantities.
Apples: Gala, Red and Golden Delicious, Winter banana, Granny Smith, Fuji, Breaburn apples.
Other fruit: Bartlett and D’anjou Pears
Feil Pioneer Orchards, Est. 1908
13073 State Route 2
on HWY 97, Baker’s Flat
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: (509) 884-7570
Open: June-October, staffed, then self-serve Nov-March, apples only. During the season: 8:30 am until about 6 pm.
Directions: In East Wenatchee, just 2.6 miles north of the Odabashian Bridge light on Hwys 2/97 north. Located on the west side of the highway.
Description: Visit Wenatchee Valley’s Pioneer fruit stand. We only sell what we grow! A rustic, authentic outdoor fruit “stand” serving our 30-acre orchard and far. Jack Feil, third generation orchardist, welcomes apple enthusiasts and reminds all to visit often as our available varieties change daily! Cider and free samples.
Apples: We have over 200 varieties in our collection! Our favorites are the heirloom and cider apples.
Other Fruit: We grow another 100 or so varieties of cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, apriums, pluots, pears, asian pears and nectarines. We are especially proud of our peaches!
4906 Summitview Ave
Yakima, WA 98908
Phone: (509) 966-7479 or (509) 966-3844
Open: ; Daily 9am-6pm
Directions: Yakima’s Westside (Exit 37, I-82).
Description: Family owned and operated since 1904; roadside stand featuring tree-ripened cherries, many varieties of apples, Bartlett and winter pears, prunes, plums, apricots, nectarines, and peaches.
19461 Rd B NW
Soap Lake, WA 98851
Phone: (509) 754-5285
Open: End of August to Beginning of November.
Description: Pheasant Orchards is a 3+ generational family-operated business. Father/Son own/run the 400+ orchards in the Columbia Basin area. Nestled above Soap Lake, along the rolling hills lies apples, pears, and cherries.
Apples: Red Chief, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Rome, Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny, Top Red, Cameo
Other Fruit: Bartlett Pears, Bing, Skeena, Sweetheart Cherries
Prey’s Fruit Barn
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Phone: (509) 548-5771
Directions: 1.5 miles E of Leavenworth on US 2
Description: Roadside stand featuring apples and pears from their orchards, with free samples during the season; also locally grown produce, apple cider and juices, and tours.
2970 Gilbert Rd
Zillah, WA 98953
Phone: (509) 829-6313
Directions: Exit 52, I-82.
Description: Seasonal fruit, gift shop, honey, and jams.
9535 Old Naches Hwy
Naches, WA 98937
Phone: (509) 653-2589
Open: Seasonal – call in Mar. and Apr.
Directions: Old Naches Hwy at Shaffer, NE corner of Naches.
Description: A family owned orchard since 1898 with over 35 varieties of fruit – cherries, peaches, pears, nectarines, prunes, plums, and apples; tour the orchard, sample fruit from the tree; also cider, vinegars, honey, and jams and jellies.
Turcott Orchard-Benson Ranches
801 Clark Rd
Wapato, WA 98951
Phone: (509) 877-2688
Open: ; Daily (except Tues.) 8am-6pm
Directions: Exit 44N, I-82.
Description: U-Pick or boxed peaches, pears, nectarines, and apples.
Valicoff Fruit Company
5150 Yakima Valley Hwy
Wapato, WA 98951
Phone: (877) 575-0143
Description: Serving the Yakima Valley since 1921. Valicoff Fruit offers a variety of Apples year round.
Other fruit: Peaches, Pears, Apricots, Nectarines & Cherries offered in season.
Van Well Nursery
2821 Grant Road
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: (509) 886-8189
Open: Early July to Late October; Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm.
Directions: On Grant Road, 3.5 Miles East of the Highway 28-Grant Road intersection in East Wenatchee.
Description: Boxed fruit for sale. Apples packed in Western Lugs.
Apples: Various varieties, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Early Fuji, and Ginger Gold. See Facebook page for daily updates.
Other Fruit: Cherries, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Prunes, Pears, Asian Pears, Pumpkins
Washington’s Fruit Place Visitor Center
1209 Pecks Canyon Rd
Yakima, WA 98908
Phone: (509) 966-1275
Description: Enjoy mouth watering, tree-ripened fruit grown in Yakima Valley’s rich volcanic soil, picked fresh daily. Our cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears, and apples contain mouth-watering goodness coaxed from carefully tended trees by a fourth-generation orchardist. While you are here, feel free to take a leisurely stroll through our beautiful orchard.
Apples: Golden, Gala, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Corail, Fuji, Criterion, Rome, Jonagold.
Other fruit: We grow and sell cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, pears
Wilson Banner Ranch
16397 Highway 12
Clarkston, WA 99403
Phone: (509) 758-2664
Open: June – December; Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:30pm, Sunday 1:00pm-5:30pm.
Directions: 8 miles west on highway 12 from Clarkston or 23 miles east of Pomeroy on Highway 12 – either way we are the only green place with trees out here, just a mile off the Snake River, right on Alpowa Creek.
Description: We are a landmark, century farm, established in 1888. Owned, operated and carefully sustained by fourth generation Wilsons. We believe in the 3P’s of sustainability – People, Profit and Planet. Our knowledge of the area and our respect for our craft has grown with each generation, come let us share our history with you! We do u-picks and tours through the summer. Our Harvest Fair runs each October, with the Pumpkin Patch and Cider Room.
Apples: Mcintosh, Transparents, Red Free, Gravenstien, Pinatas, Pink Lady, Winesap, Old fashioned Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Red Rome, Rome Beauty, Fuji, Jonathan, Jonagold, Jonagored, Wealthy, Akane, Winter Banana and more…
Other fruit: Cider, peaches, pears, apricots, cherries, plumcots, prunes, heirloom tomatoes, berries, honey
Resources and More Reading:
Washington Apple Commission
U.S. Apple Commission
More about Apples