I trust you have been able to enjoy some of the amazing fruits and vegetables that we grow right here in Chatham-Kent. The apple season is here. Did you know it takes four apples to make one glass of pure apple juice?
There are approximately 7,500 varieties of apples in almost every corner of the globe. In fact, you could eat a different apple every day for more than 19 years, and never eat the same kind twice!
Apples are a healthy eating choice, extremely high in pectin (a soluble fibre) and are packed with flavonoids (compounds which give the colourful pigment to fruits and vegetables). Latest health related apple research indicates that apples may reduce the risk of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as various forms of cancer.
An average apple has 70 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, 10% of the daily requirements for fibre, 8% of your daily Vitamin C needs, and 2% of your daily iron requirements.
About 50% of the apples grown in Ontario are marketed as fresh apples. Three-quarters of these are marketed through apple packers who distribute the product to grocery stores. The rest are sold through direct sales to stores, farmers’ markets, and roadside stands.
The other half of the Ontario apple crop is used for processing, with 90% of the apples made into apple juice. Other processing uses are applesauce, pie fillings and apple cider.
The Ontario Apple Growers (www.onapples.com) represent Ontario apple farmers with 10 acres of orchard or more and in 2016, have approximately 230 members.
There are 15 different main varieties of apples grown on nearly 16,000 acres in Ontario.
The farm gate value of the Ontario apple crop is approximately $85 million, which includes sales to fresh and processing markets and farmers’ markets.
The top five varieties in Ontario, based on acreage planted, are McIntosh, Empire, Northern Spy, Red Delicious and Gala.
Eating an apple 15 minutes before your biggest meal will help you feel full, as the apple is filled with fibre and water. As a result you will likely eat less, which is a good thing for most of us.
When making baked goods which calls for the use of oil, substitute half the oil with applesauce. There will be fewer calories and no difference in taste.
Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity also recommends a daily intake of five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Did you know that one serving of fruit equals one medium sized apple?
Take a drive and buy some fresh Ontario apples from one of Chatham-Kent’s apple orchards. Make a few apple pies, enjoy a glass of apple juice or apple cider, or make some delicious apple crisp. Whatever it is, this fruit is apple-mazing.
The other week, I mentioned two of our Chatham-Kent farm families that won Bank of Montreal Farm Family Awards at last week’s International Plowing Match. I stated the Bradley and Fox families were two of the winners, but I forgot to mention the DeGoey family, who operate DeGoeys Flowers at various Chatham-Kent locations each year. Congratulations to the Bradley, DeGoey and Fox farm families for their great history of serving our agriculture sector so well.
Think about this – The measure of love is what one is willing to give up for it. Jesus gave up his very life for you.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’! Check out our community’s agricultural website at www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’