An important refinement on modern Vermont orchards is Integrated Pest Management, or IPM - a system, employed by 90 percent of growers here, that minimizes pesticide use. IPM combines different types of pest-control methods - biological, cultural, chemical, and mechanical - to greatly reduce the possibility of harmful effects on the environment. This technique is based on knowledge of apple pests and beneficial organisms, the crop, and the environment in which all these interact.
"Growing fruit is an unusually risky agricultural business," states Sanford S. Witherell, Jr., of Noggin Orchard in Shoreham. "Vermont growers have shown a willingness to experiment with and use environmentally responsible pest-control techniques that may not always be the cheapest or easiest approach to assuring a marketable crop."
During the autumn harvest, every Vermont apple is picked by hand. Modern controlled-atmosphere storage facilities permit growers to provide high-quality Macs and other varieties to distributors and consumers months after picking. In these storage systems, levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen and ethylene are carefully monitored to keep the apples fresh.
There is pride in every Vermont apple grown and sold today, in part because of the state apple industry's long and rich history.
For bright flavor, lively crunch, and full aroma - for eating fresh, for salads and for cooking - there's nothing like a Vermont McIntosh.