EverCrisp Wins in Michigananna
Dave Rennhack, Rennhack Orchards Market in Hart, Mich.
Business: Retail farm market
It’s only the second season MAIA-1 apples – marketed as EverCrisp® – have been available at Rennhack Orchards Market in Michigan, but the apple already has a following of its own. “Our customers are flavor customers,” says co-owner Dave Rennhack. “EverCrisp is a winner there.”
EverCrisp has outstanding characteristics that people like, Dave explains. “It’s similar to its Fuji parent, but with a juicier texture that carries the sweet flavor better.”
While growers continue to fine-tune cultivation practices for EverCrisp trees, Dave says it’s been a nice variety from a production standpoint. “We’re learning about the crop’s exact nutrition needs and as the trees get older the fruit will color better.”
In Michigan, Dave typically harvests the late-season EverCrisp around October 25 through early November, which helps spread out his harvest and labor needs. The apple’s firmness is another beneficial trait as it resists bruising easily during harvest.
A portion of his MAIA-1 crop went to local packer/shipper, All Fresh GPS. “It’s a good-sized apple, contributing to a nice tray pack profile,” David says.
Additionally, EverCrisp have an amazing capacity for storing well. Dave shares, “The apple eats even better after two or three months in the cooler. The flavor mellows out a bit and the coloration turns from an underlying green cast to pineapple gold, making the apple very appealing.”
Rennhack Orchards Market has tried both controlled-atmosphere storage and the cooler. They noticed some breakdown in CA storage, and achieved the best results in the cooler. “Its storability is phenomenal. A customer could easily store the apple in the fridge for three to six months.”
Apple industry outlook: No one apple is everyone’s favorite. Everyone has individual preferences, but the EverCrisp apple has certainly captured a segment of customers who call it their new favorite.
Future of EverCrisp apples: We’re planting more EverCrisp apples because we’re optimistic that once people eat it they will come back. We’re currently harvesting five acres, and we will plant another three acres in spring 2018 and six more acres in 2019.