Do we spray?
Yes, we spray. All commercially grown apples are sprayed including organic apples.
Are your apples organic?
Our apples are certified ecologically grown, not organic. At the Scott Farm we always choose the least toxic and environmentally disruptive pest or disease treatment–which is not always the organic treatment.
How can organic be more toxic?
Organic pesticides are derived from natural sources: plants or elements. They are not always the safest or most effective treatment. Some organic approved pesticides are broad spectrum and kill or damage far more than the target pest or disease. For vegetables, crop rotation is an important part of organic growing and can minimize pests and disease and thereby minimize the need for sprays. Apple trees, of course, cannot be rotated and therefore require a different approach.
Sulphur, for example, is an organically approved treatment for apple scab, a very common problem in the northeast; depending on weather, as many as 20 to 30 applications of sulphur may be required both wasting fuel and causing the build-up in soils of the sulphur which kills earthworms and other soil organisms. Our treatment for apple scab is designed to break down quickly, approximately one week.
What is the best way to keep fruit at home?
Apples should be refrigerated. We hand pick our apples when they are ripe and immediately chill them in our coolers which are kept at 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Apples stored in a bowl will perfume a room but soon become soft and mealy.
Pears are the opposite: to soften and develop full flavor pears need to sit several days outside the refrigerator.
Our peaches are tree ripe but often need to sit for a day or two unrefrigerated to finish softening.
Do you use machines to harvest the apples?
All of our fruit is picked by hand when it is tree ripe. We also sort, grade, and pack our fruit by hand.
Some of my apples had spots. What caused that?
Some of our apple varieties are naturally russeted, spotted, or, like knobbed russet, bumpy and russeted. The other occasional spot is generally cosmetic or skin deep, a result of our ecological growing practices that aim to keep insects and diseases within a tolerable balance.