GROWING PRACTICESOur apples are grown in a uniquely sustainable and innovative fashion.
Our apples are grown in a uniquely sustainable and innovative fashion including the following best practices:
- High-density orchards: Unlike the traditional method of planting 300-500 trees per acre, this European inspired growing technique involves planting 1,000-1,500 trees per acre. Trees grown in this fashion are kept small and are pruned regularly, which allows the sun to come into contact with the apples throughout their entire maturation, making for better quality tree-ripened fruit. Keeping the trees small and narrow also allows workers to pick more apples during harvest. Half of the harvest team remains at ground level to pick the apples at the bottom of the tree and the rest of the team picks from a raised platform so they may collect apples from the top of the tree. This allows for all apples that are mature to be gathered from the trees at the same time, and at just the right time. This best practice eliminates the need for ladders, increases the rate at which the apples are picked and decreases the occurrence of workplace accidents.
- Eco-sprayers: Our eco-sprayers [technology developed by Marius Botden] reduce the amount of crop treatments used by 30 percent. When used in combination with the high-density planting systems, as is the case with the Red Prince, eco-sprayers reduce pesticide application by 75 percent from conventional apple growing orchards.
- Drip irrigation: This method of applying slow, steady and precise amounts of water and nutrients to the apple trees results in water conservation and allows the apples to grow at a regulated rate, so the fruit is more uniformly consistent.
- Precision planting: Guided by GPS technology, precision planting increases orchard yield by preventing misappropriation of moisture and nutrients.
- Advanced grading systems: These technologies ensure that only the best apples are distributed to the marketplace.