News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios

Genie of Fairview Door Company


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


It's a good year for Ohio apples
A big improvement in weather from 2012 but apple varieties come and go.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Apples have been grown at the Beckwith farm for some 137 years.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The harvest season is upon us and it’s been a good year for apples. The Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association says it may be the best year in the last five for apples. The long cool spring and relatively mild summer made for a big improvement over last year’s drought. But Charlie Beckwith of Beckwith Orchards in Kent explains that working with fruit trees and changing weather is always a delicate dance.
Hear the interview

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:20)


Beckwith Orchards in Kent is owned by 86-year-old owner Charlie Beckwith. The farm was started 137 years ago and the first apple trees planted around 1890. Charlie retired from Dow Chemical and has been focused on the orchard ever since. 

A bumper crop of apples
Beckwith says this year’s weather was indeed good for apples but not for all the fruit they grow. "It’s been good for apples but it’s been pretty touchy for some of other fruits.” Plums and apricots did not do well. Pears did well. And apples are doing very well. 

“The weather is Ohio is ‘interesting.’ The state apple is called Melrose. One out of five years it’s beautiful.”

Varieties 
The Beckwith family switches varieties on occasion. “We try not to keep a tree more than 25 years because your raise your best fruit on a young tree. Look at our Honeycrisp, which is an apple that’s blown the socks off the market right now. We get a little bit more for it than the other varieties because it’s a mean one to grow.” 

Beckwith doesn’t miss the vintage varieties
“There was a lot of real good ones but you have to remember the memories of Granma’s apple pie depended a lot on when that tree was ripe. And a lot of those varieties had a window. My favorite apple was the Ohio Nonpareil. We grew them; my uncle across the road grew them. Absolutely superb. It was one of these that had a flavor that I think could beat Honeycrisp. It was just excellent for a period of about eight days.”

Shelf life
An eight-day shelf life is just not enough for professional growers. Because they aren’t economical Beckwith says some varieties are slowly fading out - like the hard and flavorful Stayman-Winesap.

“I still have some and we might bring in a bin. It’s like Northern Spy. That’s an excellent apple that is just about doomed. And the reason is on a standard tree it was ten years before it would bloom.”

Beckwith still has some varieties yet to be picked. And that leaves a race to see if they can ripen before a killing frost.

“The problem is you have Braeburn, Fuji, and Granny Smith that all start a harvest date of the 27th of October. We tell people quite frankly we may have to grab them early if we have a killing frost coming in.”

Like any farm, weather can make or break the business.

“There are days out here you wonder why we even stay around after 137 years and a couple days later it will be so beautiful it’ll make your face ache.”

 

Images with audio

Beckwith also had a good peach crop this year but that hasn't always been the case.


Beckwith also had a good peach crop this year but that hasn't always been the case.

(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:

My father -in-law John Kalafus grew them in his orchard in Leetonia, OH (near Salem Ohio). We have wanted som for years.
could you let us know when some are available in late summer? They are a great apple.
Thank you

Bill Bees


Posted by: Bill (Wadsworth, Ohio) on April 25, 2014 5:04AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

More Ohio schools are adding STEM + arts to come up with STEAM
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Not Education! Your first sentence and intro to this article is incorrect. Please correct this inaccuracy....

Body found in Brecksville park identified as Hillary Sharma
When will we learn the cause of death? We live here and if there's foul play, we have a right to know.

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University