Vermont celebrated its bicentennial in 1991. In recognition of that milestone, the state's apple growers compiled this review of a 200-year success story - the history and traditions of Vermont's apple industry. The Seasons of Apples follows the Vermont apple industry from its beginnings on the early hill farms, where dozens of apple strains served a remarkable variety of uses, through the development of today's specialized, commercial production. Our state's bicentennial was seen as a means of renewing Vermont's strong sense of history, tradition and pride. We'd like to think that this heritage is nowhere stronger than in our apple industry - just as, for many people, the McIntosh apple symbolizes Vermont. Dedicated to the generations of Vermont apple growers.
Vermont is the home of tidy villages, town meetings, and the tart and crispy-sweet taste of the McIntosh - the world-famous apple that reaches near perfection in the Green Mountain State's upcountry growing season of cool nights and warm, sunny days.
Today, the popularity of the "Mac" has encouraged growers to make it Vermont's dominant apple, with McIntoshes accounting for almost 70 percent of the state's apple crop. Modern techniques called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and controlled-atmosphere storage enable Vermont Macs to reach top quality with minimal environmental impact, and to stay harvest-crisp for consumers throughout the year. Macs are shipped from Vermont across the U.S. - they're even popular in Western Europe, especially Scotland and Ireland.
The Vermont apple industry of today is an agricultural success. Yet the "Superstar McIntosh" marks only the most modern chapter in a fascinating and colorful history.