Recent Comments

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: kat in reply to: Harmony Valley Keeps it Fresh and Local

    Oh, so glad that squash is back in this mix, can't wait to get our box next week.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: Applenut in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    I can understand the need to control quality to avoid bad customer experiences.

    For years we heard about Honeycrisp here in Southern California but every one I got from the store (and they weren't cheap) was green and sour. It wasn't until I picked one from our own tree (yes, they grow well in our blazing hot days and warm nights)that I finally tasted the "honey" part.

    20 years of patent protection to recoup what could be 20 years of variety development sounds like a gamble to me, and I'm glad I have a day job other than agriculture.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: lee in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Thanks Gail, I get it. But the way this apple is being introduced is interesting (to me, at least!), and many people are concerned about how such development will continue to happen - in terms of both funding and distribution - in the future.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: lee in reply to: Where in Minnesota is Your Great Pumpkin?

    Thanks Anon. We appreciate the info. Does your pumpkin patch have a name?

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: Anonymous in reply to: Where in Minnesota is Your Great Pumpkin?

    We have a great you pick pumpkin patch located on Highway 55 about 12 miles west of I494. Besides traditional types there are pupkins in many colors and shapes. Call 763-479-1184 for more info.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: grcatheryn in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    I, too, am pleased that Mr. Courtier has joined this discussion and I am happy to hear his side of things, but I am disappointed that his input wasn't included in the original article.

    There doesn't seem to be as much controversy as advertised when you consider all sides. I would rather see details and solid facts over hype.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: lee in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Thanks all, for contributing to this lively discussion. I appreciate your varying points of view and the way the discussion is being carried out on the site. Once again, I'm reminded of the great local food community we've got and why this site is so rewarding and fun.

    Thanks especially to Dennis of Pepin Heights, for being willing to take part in the discussion and address the community's thoughts and concerns head on. It's this conversation - coupled with some real transparency and a view towards practical realities - that will get us to the point where we understand enough to make good decisions about what we eat and who we support.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: sd in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Hmmm ... I saw SweeTangos at the Suburban Ave. (St. Paul) Byerly's last week, so I picked up a few.

    I sampled them later that day with some friends. How good this highly-anticipated apple was going to be! Or not. Maybe it was the hype that accompanies the SweeTango -- or maybe I just picked up a few duds. But I have to say it was not a strikingly beautiful apple; several of those on display had a kind of netting on the skin that took away from the fairy-tale skin of the perfect apple. Beyond that, they were juicy but the taste was just ... sweet, and, as another poster pointed out, somewhat shallow.

    I'll try them again if I see them just to give them a fair shake. But I'd sooner stick with Honeycrisps or Zestars or even some other lesser-known varieties.

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: Dennis Courtier in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Hello all...
    I own Pepin Heights. My reaction as I read these posts ranges from alarm to amusement. Maybe I can straighten out a few misconceptions with real facts.

    Every commercial apple grower in Minnesota can grow and sell this great new apple be they large or small. There are, give or take, about 110 orchards in the state and 87 have already planted trees. There are some limitations on this variety, and there is an agreement to sign, but it is just not that difficult. Interested growers should contact us directly.

    Looking forward, most great new apple varieties from breeding programs all over the world will be "managed" instead of "open" release as was common in the past. Some growers find this change upsetting. There are several reasons for this industry wide change, but mostly it is because breeding programs need more money to continue operating.

    The University selected Pepin Heights to manage this variety in a competitive process. As we submitted our proposal and negotiated the arrangement we had no idea who our competition was. They might have been local, national, or international. Minnesotans should be happy the "U" selected a local company.

    Many Land Grant Universities license their intellectual property to help offset costs. Products from pharmaceuticals to soybeans, and yes, even apple varieties are patented "inventions". As our legislatures have cut funding they have asked our Universities to be more business-like, and that is what they are doing.

    Minnesota grows some really great apples, but we have a very small apple industry. We're 28th nationally in production, accounting for only .2% of national production.
    Pepin Heights does grow more apples than anybody else in Minnesota, but we are only medium size by Midwestern standards and quite small by West Coast standards. That said, we are nationally and internationally recognized for for our ability to identify and commercialize new varieties.

    All the SweeTango media kerfuffle is not a marketing ploy to create demand for a product that doesn't exist. There are about 60,000 two and three year old trees in the ground in Minnesota alone (half of these in the hands of independent licensed growers). Be patient, SweeTangos are coming and I promise you, well worth the wait...
    DC

  • 5 years 3 weeks ago by: Michael in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Shouldn't the market dictate what products are inferior? Isn't it the consumers choice to purchase the products they wish? If the consumers taxes paid to create this product, why should one private company control the rights to distribution? With the $8,000,000 the U of M made off of Honeycrisps, could they not have set up a proper licensing agency of their own rather than an outside private firm?

    If this were a matter of a federal governmental agency with a sole private benefactor the press would be busy.