Our orchards have been growing apples in the Shenandoah Valley for almost a century and have produced some of the best-tasting apples in the world. Many might wonder how do we achieve such full-flavored apples? It is a combination of apple growth monitoring, sustainable practices, and soil science. We create the optimal environment for each apple variety to grow naturally with the fewest additives in the perfect pH balanced soil.
Apples that are allowed to reach their peak ripeness on the tree and are stored for a minimal amount of time, getting to the consumer tasting their best. They retain their freshness much longer. They are less likely to bruise and the uniqueness of each variety is more distinguished from the others. There is a science and timing to picking apples at their peak.
Different varieties mature at different speeds and we test them right as they near maturity. The main test for this peak maturity is starch content monitoring. Starch converts to sugar within apples so once the starch reaches its optimal level or flavor and texture, we begin picking that apple variety and get them prepared to ship to consumers.
Our shipping process is minimized in order to get the perfect apples to customers while they’re still at their peak. Our apples retain their taste and crispness for a while, due to our sustainable process, because we want you to have plenty of time to experience these remarkable apples.
We strive to minimize all soil and pest management additives so our apples remain natural and produce the best flavor possible. Some requirements exist for quality control and we meet those, but there are many sustainable practices that can meet requirements and don’t impair apple development.
In order to minimize all pest presence on our trees, we take steps to integrate and encourage natural predators to the common pests we find. These predator species don’t harm or inhibit the apple growing process at all and they help to keep out any species that do. We don’t stop there though, because we constantly monitor the predator effectiveness in killing off the pest populations.
At our orchard, we have implemented pest monitoring systems, such as traps to measure how many are present at a given time in the orchards. This allows us to determine the natural effectiveness of the pest predators and whether we need to take additional steps to meet quality standards.
Integrated Pest Management allows us to measure pest counts and the predator effectivenes, so that we only need to use pesticides as a final step to ensure top quality apples. We incorporate all possible strategies to keep our chemical applications to a minimum. This helps us remain sustainable and profitable, while bringing our customers a high quality, tasty final product.
Pedology is the study of the different soils all around the world and the minerals that are present in the soil. Some of the richest soils in the world are found in the south-eastern region of the United States. Many tree farms are housed in this region specifically for the soil and its ability to grow quality, mature trees so quickly.
In the Shenandoah Valley specifically, the soil is rich in limestone and that creates a perfect pH balance for orchard growth. Across the world, many farmers have to add nitrogen-rich fertilizer to their soil to correct the acid levels of their soil. The addition of nitrogen grows large trees with big colorful apples, however, this can cause the apples to lose some of their flavor and give them a much softer flesh that is more susceptible to bruising and rot. But with the abundant presence of limestone, our orchard has no need for nitrogen fertilizer to get the right level of acidity in our soil. So when you bite into a Turkey Knob apple you instantly taste and feel the difference from other apples. This is why they taste so good.
Our promise of exceptional apples is not an empty one. We have spent decades perfecting our apple growing processes to allow our apples to grow well. We are fortunate enough to be situated in the best apple growing location in the world. Don’t take our word on all of this, try a box of our best apples so you can taste the difference. Just remember: regular grocery store apples may never be the same to you after you try Turkey Knob Apples
Want to know about all of the distinct flavor profiles of our apples? Check out our Fruit page to get the perfect apples for you Turkey Knob Fruit.