An apple that grew by chance is now being grown in New York State

GrownInNewYorkArticle

04/05/2016
KORU® apple, called “the next Honeycrisp,” also imported from New Zealand
In 1998, Geoff Plunkett’s mother-in-law tossed some unusable apples into his garden in New Zealand. Soon a seedling started, and Plunkett – a commercial apple grower – gave it a chance to grow. Eventually, Plunkett found the tree’s apples delightful and wondered about their “parentage.” Plunkett knew that the discarded apples were Fujis, and through apple DNA testing, learned that the other “parent” was Braeburn. Fast forward through more than a decade of testing, research, and growing, and we now have the KORU® apple. Today, along with being imported from New Zealand, KORU® apples are being grown at 15 New York State orchards from Albion to Waterport, as well as on six Washington State farms.

An apple so good Eve may have handed it to Adam
“KORU® apples bring together the subtle sweetness of the Fuji with the Braeburn’s sweet tang,” said Kaari Stannard, one of the owners of Fish Creek Orchards in Albion. Fish Creek has planted and begun growing the KORU® variety. She recalls the first time she bit into a KORU®. “I was in New Zealand on a produce-buying trip,” she says. “I was handed a KORU® and it was just wonderful to taste. It was amazingly crunchy, sweet, and juicy, and absolutely lovely to look at, too. I knew we’d want to grow it at Fish Creek. Honestly, I remember thinking ‘this apple is so good, it must’ve been the one Eve persuaded Adam to eat!” (Stannard is also president of New York Apple Sales, the largest apple distributor in New York state.)
People in the produce industry believe KORU® has the potential to be as popular an apple here as it already is in New Zealand and other countries; and rival Honeycrisp apples as a “deluxe variety.” And while more and more KORU® trees are being planted in the States, they will only gradually begin to produce an increased volume of apples.

Importing KORU® from New Zealand for fresher apples all year long
To satisfy consumer and retail demand, New York Apple Sales, along with two other produce sales agencies in Washington State, have begun importing KORU® apples from New Zealand. Representing the Coast to Coast Growers Cooperative, the three companies received their first shipments of imported KORU® apples in May, and more will continue to reach our shores throughout the spring and summer months.
As the stateside harvest expands year by year, this combination of imported and homegrown KORU® apples will make it possible to have the freshest, most flavorful inventories of these apples delivered throughout New York State and the country year round. Check at your local supermarket for KORU® apples soon and give them a try. They are an ideal choice for both eating and baking.

An apple name backed by a great story
Stannard’s partner at Fish Creek Orchards, Rod Farrow, notes that the origin of the KORU® apple’s name is also an interesting story. “Mr. Plunkett originally called this apple Kotaburu, originating from the aboriginal language down there. It means ‘new beginnings.’ He then evolved the name to Koru, which is a Maori word for the new unfurling fern frond as it unfolds to create a new leaf.” The Maori were pre-European settlers of New Zealand.
Today KORU® is a registered trademark. The KORU® logotype design is an important symbol in both Maori and New Zealand cultures, symbolizing new life, regeneration, growth, strength, hope, and peace. To view a video of a New Zealand KORU® grower and his orchard, including some gorgeous scenery (and apples), enter “Koru Grower Interview Video” in a Google or YouTube search box or click here. The Koru website can be found at www.koruapple.com.

KORU®-growing orchards in New York State
The “growing” list of New York Orchards, all members of the Coast to Coast Growers Cooperative, planting and picking homegrown KORU® apples is listed below. Please contact any of them to learn more or gather information for a story on New York State production of this exciting apple.


McGrath AssociationLogos CoastToCoastTim Byrne, Manager
Coast to Coast Growers Cooperative
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
651.398.5503

 

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