VERMONT — Vermont’s pick-your-own orchards offer a chance to win an iPod during the annual “Apples to iPods” promotion that kicked off Sunday, Sept. 14.
In this technology-meets-agriculture contest, one specially marked wooden apple is hidden in an apple tree at 21 Vermont pick-your-own apple orchards. The lucky apple picker who finds a wooden apple wins an Apple iPod, iPod Shuffle or iPad.
This good-natured promotion of Vermont’s working landscape is in partnership with Woodchuck® Hard Cider, Small Dog Electronics, Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The State of Vermont first launched this promotion in 2007 with hopes of growing participation at Vermont pick-your-own orchards. Since the launch, participation has been incredibly ‘fruitful’ across Vermont.
“Visiting Vermont’s apple orchards is a long-standing tradition for many and Apples to iPods makes it even more fun for families,” said Megan Smith, Vermont’s Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing. “Apple picking is truly a ‘sweet’ experience during Vermont’s beautiful fall foliage season.”
For a sixth year, the Vermont Department of Tourism is also helping the Vermont Foodbank promote Pick for Your Neighbor, where visitors to participating orchards can pick and purchase extra apples to donate to the Foodbank. Last year, Pick for Your Neighbor made nearly 19,000 pounds of apples available to Vermonters in need.
“The need for food assistance is great, throughout Vermont as more than 153,000 of our neighbors look to the Foodbank and our network for support each year,” said Michelle Wallace, program director for the Vermont Foodbank. “This year, with continued support from the Department of Agriculture and additional underwriting support from Woodchuck Hard Cider, we expect to see more delicious Vermont apples making their way to Vermonters in need.”
Vermont’s nearly 4,000 acres of commercial apple orchards produce leading apple varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious and Empire. Sixty Vermont orchards produce nearly 1 million bushels of apples annually, valued at approximately $15 million.
Locally, the following orchards are participating:
Mendon Mountain Orchard, Mendon
Champlain Orchards, Shoreham
Douglas Orchards, Shoreham
Happy Valley Orchard, Middlebury
Mad Tom Orchard, East Dorset
VTC Apple Orchard, Randolph Center
Wellwood Orchards, Springfield
For a full list of participating orchards statewide, please visit www.applestoipods.com.