Pamela Northam, wife of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and Bettina Ring, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, visited Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market and Bakery and Glaize Apples in Winchester, Va., to celebrate National Apple Month and the peak of the state’s apple harvest season.
Season begins in August and peaks in October and November, according to a news release.
“Now is a beautiful time of year for families to get out into the orchard and pick their own, or head to the grocery store and look for Virginia grown apples,” Northam said in the release.
Virginia apple orchards extend from southwest Virginia, through the central region and up to the northern Shenandoah Valley.
Virginia apples are sold nationwide and globally, according to the release. Seventy percent of Virginia apples are processed for products such as applesauce, apple juice, apple butter and cider.
“Apples are one of our top 20 agriculture products, and Virginia ranks sixth in apple production for U.S. states,” Ring said in the release.
Apples also provide an economic boost through agritourism and a growing hard cider industry.
“We have used agritourism for more than 30 years to diversify farm income, and more importantly, welcome visitors to our farm and orchard,” John Marker, owner of Marker-Miller Orchards, said in the release.
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