The apple of my eye


Growing up we were surrounded by apple trees. Most of the time we spent climbing them and building tree houses. At one point we had a three-story tree house with a lookout tower in our biggest apple tree and we built the floors out of two-by-fours and gutter nails. Nobody in our club — my brothers and friends — were over 10 years old (no girls allowed back then).

The variety of apple trees in our neighborhood were complemented by other fruit trees like pear and plum. And if you count all the wild berries and grapes grown in the neighborhood, the only thing we needed to stop home for in the summer time was a water break.

Seriously, is there anything more satisfying on a hot summer day then fresh fruit? And to pick it right off the trees in the backyard was even more satisfying. The only bad thing was the apples that didn’t get picked … mowing the lawn was a real pain at that point.

Our backdoor apple varieties included Granny Smith, Jonathon, and Red or Red Court. So between my mom, sisters and grandma, we were never short of apple pies and other delicious treats that could be made with this great bounty.

Ohio is so blessed to have such a great variety of apple growers. The Ohio Apple marketing Program represents over 150 Ohio apple growers. I recently spoke with Gene Geckle from Alvada, Ohio, up in Hancock County that is part of the OAMP. He and his wife, who are both retired school teachers, raise over 35 different varieties of apple trees on their farm. Most are sold from August to November right from the farm.”Looks like it is going to be a great year,” Gene told me despite the rain, “Our biggest threat is hail, or like back in 2008 when the remnants of a tropical hurricane blew most of the apples right off the trees.”

Although the Geckle Orchard is first generation, he started planting trees in the late 1980s-early 1990s and right now his crop looks as good as ever. “Whatever we don’t sell through our farm market we give away to local food banks, so nothing or very little of our crop gets wasted,” he added.

As stewards of the land, Ohio apple growers are committed to quality, family and health. The mission of the OAMP is to provide the finest locally grown produce. This commitment rewards consumers with a wide selection of quality products.

Ohio’s orchards have been maintained for generations. They utilize lower pesticide-production methods to protect the environment and reduce the use of sprays. And as they say, “Ohio Apples are a healthy choice, from our family to yours.”

Ohio apples are fat-free, saturated-fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and an excellent source of fiber.

Apples are a natural source of health-promoting phytonutrients, including plant-based antioxidants.

Apples and apple juice are two important foods contributing the mineral boron to the diet, which may promote bone health.

Apples contain natural fruit sugars, mostly in the form of fructose.

Because of apples’ high fiber content, the fruit’s natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream, helping maintain steady blood sugar levels.

For the best apple experience, pick the right apple for the apple treat you are planning.

Our thanks to the Ohio Apple Marketing Program and for more info check them out on the web at

Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!

By Dan Wilson

Contributing columnist

The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for over 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.

No posts to display