You can almost taste the delicious crunch! The tantalizing blend of tart and sweet! The awesome hues of speckled red and gold! ….. It’s an undeniable sign of fall. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s AppleHouse is now open for business, offering a variety of freshly picked fruit, including many University of Minnesota introductions. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 pm. daily through Oct. 31 (until 4 p.m. in early Nov.).
The AppleHouse is located in a large, rustic shed about 1.5 miles west of the Arboretum entrance on State Hwy. 5 (just north of the intersection with Rolling Acres Road). Every morning, its old mechanical apple sorter roars to life and a stream of juicy, freshly picked fruit rolls down the assembly line to be sorted for purchase by apple-loving Minnesotans.
The U of M Horticultural Research Center’s apple researcher David Bedford is optimistic about the HRC apple harvest this year. “It looks like it’s going to be a good season. The fruit is high quality,” said Bedford, adding the harvest is about 7 to 10 days later than the norm, due to the late spring.
The inventory will change through the season, depending on the fruit variety. Early varieties, such as La Crescent, Chestnut Crab and Zestar, are currently available, plus unnamed research apples. However, since supplies can change, visitors are advised to call the AppleHouse Hotline at 952-443-1409.
The AppleHouse also offers other freshly picked produce, such as watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, corn beans, onion, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes. It also is selling University of Minnesota meats, cheeses and ice cream, plus locally made fudge, maple syrup, baked goods, jams and more. Vintage furnishings from Mama’s Happy occasional shop also are sold at the AppleHouse. Proceeds from sales benefit the U of M apple-research program. For more info, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.