John V. Fowler ( Courtesy Fowler Farms )

John V. Fowler, one of the fifth-generation owners of Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y., has died.

Fowler, who was battling cancer, died Aug. 18. He was 76.

Fowler  brought an innovate, but common-sense, vision to apple production at Fowler Farms, bringing one of the first “super high-density” orchard planting systems to a commercial operation in the U.S., according to a statement from the company.

That led to his development of multi-row tree planters and custom orchard sprayers to care for the new systems, and the motto “Grow the apple, not the tree.”

“It was John’s belief that when you grow the apple, not the tree, the end result is a better eating apple. And that has always been a win-win for consumers,” according to the statement.

Fowler’s son, JD; a nephew, Austin; and a brother Bob Fowler, are involved in the family business.

A memorial service was Aug. 22 in Ontario, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Pines of Peace, 2378 Ridge Rd., Ontario, NY, 14519.