By Stemilt Growers
WENATCHEE, Wash. – Honeycrisp apples will have a longer Honeycrisp season this spring and summer. Stemilt Growers will be expanding their Honeycrisp shipping season through mid-summer with a new brand called Honeyhill™.
“Honeyhill™ is an exciting addition to include in our family of brands as we will be offering one of the most popular apple varieties for a longer timeframe,” states Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director. “We’re choosing the best Honeycrisp apples for Honeyhill™ boxes…. that taste as if you had just picked them from the tree back in the fall.”
Stemilt is not allowing just any Honeycrisp apple to be packed under the Honeyhill™ name. Only high-color Honeycrisp apples will qualify for the Honeyhill™ brand. The main strain that is producing high-color and high-quality Honeycrisp apples late in the season is Royal, a new sport of Honeycrisp apples that is actually quite different than the rest of the pack.
“The Royal Honeycrisp is a beautiful strain with great color and finish. Its real advantage is that our teams can pick full-colored fruit at the right starch levels in order to store well in our controlled atmosphere rooms. When we pull these apples out at a later date, the starches have converted to sugars with good acides that deliver that amazing fall flavor in the spring and summer months,” said Pepperl.
Planted in some of Stemilt’s most pristine orchards throughout Washington State, Stemilt’s field team works effortlessly to ensure each Royal Honeycrisp can maximize it’s time on the tree. The Royal strains ability to color well allows Stemilt to pick the fruit in an ideal window where the fruit starch levels allow it to be stored for long-term success. Stemilt also utilizes shade cloth and windscreens to further care for its Royal Honeycrisp apples.
Organic Honeycrisp apples are also available and currently being packed under Stemilt’s Artisan Organics™ label. “We all know organic is a growing category….,” states Pepperl. “We’re excited about Honeyhill™.
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 the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of 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.