Tholen - In the 1980`s, Wilfrid and Sally Mennell discovered a tree bearing unusual apples in their orchard in the Similkameen Valley in British Columbia, Canada. They had replanted Jonagold trees in an area that previously contained plums and occasionally Golden Delicious trees. A chance seedling grew up in one of the rows, and, unlike the other trees, was stripped clean by the pickers, who traditionally never eat apples! The Mennells tasted the apple and realized that here was something different, exciting and worth investigating, so they grew a few trees to see if the variety remained true to type. It did and so was born Ambrosia!
`Ambrosia is an outstanding new apple variety. This apple began as a chance seedling in one of our grower`s farms in the mid 1990`s. It has since been propagated successfully and is generating a lot of interest in the market at well above average prices. It is a beautiful bi-colored, sweet apple with a fantastic crisp texture. We believe this is one of the best apples to arrive in the marketplace ever,` says Elam Wills.
He represents an organic packing house in British Columbia called Cawston Cold Storage. `We have made Ambrosia our signature apple. Currently we pack and ship 40,000 bushels (725 MT) of certified organic Ambrosia apples. The production is growing steadily. There are far more of these apples being grown in the convention portion of our local industry. The total acreage is about 500 acres now in production in B.C. In 2005, CMI bought the rights to grow this apple in Washington State, USA. They are expecting to plant about 500 acres of them and the most are already planted,` says Elam Wills.
Ambrosia is harvested in early October and should be in most stores in November. The apples should be available from regular storage for about three months, and from C(ontrolled) A(tmosphere) storage for up to six months.