La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – Thursday afternoon, Minnesota apple growers gathered for the final day of exchanging new trade tricks during their annual conference.
The three day event is filled with new equipment, products, and lessons, drawing growers from all around Midwest, not just Minnesota.
The seminars cover lots of ground, and this year, a new trend is noted – brewing in orchards.
“People are getting into the apple industry the same way they got into the craft brewing and they say here’s a whole new facet of the business we haven’t explored before. It’s kind of a segue craft brewing, hard ciders, its a great way to use these Minnesota apples,” says Association Secretary and Vice President Ralph Yates.
The conference dove into the tougher stuff too, like a worldwide bee shortage and the various ailments plaguing them.
Luckily, the popular orchard pollinator is in no short supply locally, meaning the trend of private beekeeping is slowly changing.
“Because of our new growing methods, I think many a grower is finding the wild bee methods are actually sufficient to pollinate their crops now,” explained Yates.
Yates says the group is always open to new or interested members.
Right now, there are more than 100 members involved in the Minnesota Apple Growers Association.
If you’d like to learn more about the group and what it offers, click here.