October 19, 2010
Have you tasted a Honeycrisp? How about SweeTango, Piñata, or Jazz? If you’ve
been to a farmers market or fruit stand recently, odds are you’ve noticed some of the new club varieties of
apples vying for the attention of consumers and retailers. Growers are hoping these hot new apple varieties will
bring a greater return than plain old red and golden delicious. They can bring big dollars, but club varieties can
also be quite a gamble for the grower.
Britt Dudek is a grower in East Wenatchee
who is moving into ever greater production of Honeycrisp apples, one of the hottest new club varieties.
KOHO’s Isaac Kaplan-Woolner talked with Dudek by phone to talk about the decision to plant club apples, and
what that means in terms of risk and reward to a grower.
Dudek Orchards is
located near Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee and grows primarily apples, with limited cherry production as
The Honeycrisp apple was trademarked following its development by the
University of Minnesota breeding program, shows what a new variety can mean. Since its patent expired two years
ago, more acres of Honeycrisp have been planted and the variety’s popularity and return to growers are
touted as a success story. But it remains to be seen how consistent those good returns to farmers will be year to
year, and if the public sticks by Honeycrisp as a new favorite apple.