Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Local Apples 101

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Sun, Sep 10, 2017 @ 05:05 PM

There's good reason to believe that an apple a day will help you avoid doctor's visits. According to the USDA, they're a rich source of pectin, an antioxidant, and they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They also provide potassium, flavonoids, phytochemicals, and quercetin. To maximize all that good nutrition, save yourself some time and leave the skin on; two-thirds of the fiber and many antioxidants are found in the skin of the apple.2017-Local-Apples.jpg

Cheese and apples are a match made in heaven! The sweetness of apples is a perfect contrast to the creamy richness of any cheese. Not a fan of eating fresh apples? Drink them! We carry Hoch Organic Fresh Apple Cider when seasonally available. We also carry a rotating variety of hard apple ciders of varying flavors in our beer/wine cooler.

Types and tastes: Orchardists and researchers have identified over 17,000 varieties of apples in North America. They range in color from red, yellow, green, brown and a mixture of all four. They come in all shapes and sizes, from no bigger than a marble, to the size of a grapefruit. Similarly apples come in all types of flavors and textures. Some are pucker-your-mouth tart while others are satisfyingly sweet. Some are tender and soft while others are refreshingly crisp.

During the local/regional apple season, the VFC carries a combination of the following apples:
Cortland, Dayton, Enterprise, Fuji, Gala, Gingergold, Gold Rush, Haralson, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Liberty (pink applesauce), Mutzu, Pricilla, Sweet Sonya, Williams Pride, Zestar.

Who grows these around here: Lucky for us, we have many local and regional orchards that supply us with amazing apples throughout the midwest growing season! 


  • Two Brothers Orchard, Westby
  • Chicken Ridge Orchard, 
La Crescent, MN
  • Countryside Orchard, Lansing, IA
  • Appley Ever After, Viroqua
  • Eve’s Orchard, Gays Mills
  • Partner Farms, Michigan

Where and when to find them:
Typically, local/regional apple season begins early August and extends through December. Early local apple reports are calling for a big apple crop, so be prepared to enjoy the harvest this Autumn and Winter!

Which apple should I pick for…

Fresh Eating: 
For those that like sweet/crips apples, Honeycrisp or Gala are sure to please. For those that enjoy tart/sweet apples, go for a Cortland or Jonagold.

Liberty is a customer favorite for making applesauce. The pink skin turns the applesauce pink!

The best pies are made with a mixture of firm, crispy apples that hold their shape when baked. Some of our favorite local apples for pies include sweet and firm apples like Honeycrisp, Gala and Gold Rush and sweet, tart and firm apples like Johnagold, Cortland, Enterprise, Fuji and Zestar.


Tags: local produce, Fresh and Local!, Apples