If you can’t decide which type of apple to take home from the market, stop by the Saratoga Apple table, where Christine Gaud will cut you slices to taste and make some suggestions as to what you might enjoy.
Gaud, who together with her husband, Nate Darrow, owns the Saratoga Apple and farm market on Route 29 in Schuylerville, brings several types of apples to the market year-round, including familiar favorites such as Cortland, McIntosh, and Honeycrisp, and the less known varieties like Jonagold and the exotic sounding Belle de Boscoop.
Gaud and Darrow have owned Saratoga Apple since 1994. When they purchased the operation, 125 acres were being farmed. They have since scaled the operation back to 40 acres of apples, with an additional six to eight cultivated acres producing asparagus and other vegetables, peaches, plums, raspberries, and more. Some of the items are grown in adherence to “biologique” methods, the French word which means following practices similar to organic farming.
“This is a busy time of year for us, as we continue to bring products to consumers via farmers’ markets in the region, and we also have crowds of people enjoying picking their own apples at the orchard. On the weekend, we have hundreds of people coming out to ride in the wagons, pick apples, sample the cider donuts and pies, and enjoy the fall scenery on the ridge in Schuylerville,” notes Gaud.
In addition to selling at farmers’ markets, Saratoga Apple has its own farm market store, which is open seven days a week year-round, carrying a variety of produce items, baked goods, and pantry items.
Darrow attributes the orchard’s ability to supply fresh apples year-round to the use of cold storage facilities at both the Schuylerville location and his brother’s orchard in Vermont, which has five controlled atmosphere storage rooms.
“Right now, I’m driving 10 bins a day, each containing about 800 pounds of apples in them, to Vermont, where the apples will be put into specially regulated cold storage. Next winter and spring, these cold storage rooms will be opened one by one over time. Each will yield very crisp, juicy apples, due to the low oxygen levels in the rooms, which slows the respiration of the apples,” Darrow explains.
With this year’s apple crop producing much better than in 2012 all across New York, Darrow expects to harvest more than 16,000 bushels of apples. That means that customers at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will have plenty of crisp, juicy apples right through the summer of 2014.
Apple Nut Cake
* Ingredients can be purchased at Saratoga Farmers’ Market
4 ½ cups peeled and chopped apples*
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup plain, vanilla, or maple yogurt*
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten*
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle chopped apples with lemon juice. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine oil, yogurt, sugar, and eggs until creamy.
In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and then gradually add to liquid ingredients. Add vanilla. Batter will be stiff.
Fold in apples and nuts.
Grease and flour a 9×13 pan. Pour in batter and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.