Organic apples redden with joy in British Columbia

Apple yields are higher than average worldwide this year, leaving some growers and exporters to worry about a decrease in price or sales. In British Columbia, the local demand for organic apples is big, leaving prices and growers unchanged. “The market is good,” states Robyn King owner of Bite Me Organics along with her Husband, Richard, “The local market is strong. Its fall, people love to come to the farm to see the trees.”

Though the farm started out using conventional methods, Bite Me Organics has been a certified organic orchard for the last seven years. The change came with the King’s interest in a more difficult farming. “We didn’t want to rely on manufactured products for our fruit.” With the challenge of organic farming comes the regulation in what products can be used. “We do get less fruit than when we relied on conventional methods, our fruit is smaller as well.” However, consumers are becoming more aware of local and organic growers. “People want to see where their food is grown. Many return and thank us.”

Colour comes easily to apples in the diverse climate. “The temperature is really what sets apart British Columbia for growing red fruit.” The long, hot summer days partnered with the cool nights is the perfect colouring weather for red apples.
In addition to the six varieties of apples, Bite Me Organic also grows three varieties of peaches from the King’s son’s certified organic peach orchard. While all the fruit is readily available at local farmers markets, Bite Me Organic also revenues from exporting. “We sell to a cold storage packing house. They weigh and grade the fruit and then ship to a location.” Apples are shipped throughout Canada and some states in the U.S., however, peaches are too delicate for long shipping routes.

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Robyn King

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