Nine new apple varieties are now available at Hope Orchards.

Four years ago, Brien Davis, orchardist, began an expansion of Hope Orchard’s apple varieties.

Starting in 2012, he planted 600 trees each year for three years, for a total of 1,800 trees. The trees were planted 3- to 4-feet apart, and were trellised with horizontal wires and drip irrigation.

This new technique for planting orchards started in France, and was perfected in North America by Terrance Robinson of Cornell University. Davis was interested in this technique because it increases production, decreases the number of years necessary for optimal yield, while allowing for irrigation. Providing irrigation was key to producing a good crop during this growing season. This year, the 2014 planting has produced a 50 percent yield, or half, of a normal crop. This is two years earlier than the results of conventional plantings.

Due to the success of this expansion, Davis is introducing several new apple varieties to his customers for the first time this year. The largest volume of these new apples are Honeycrisp. Customers report that they love this apple for its juicy, sweet, crisp qualities. Other new varieties this season include Snowsweet, Autumn Crisp, William’s Pride, Sweet Sixteen, Zestar!, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Mutsu and Gold Rush.

A weekend event to showcase the arrival of the new varieties is being held at Hope Orchards on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Samples, variety packs, cheese pairing, linoleum print artwork, scarecrows, and music are all part of the celebration. For a schedule and related details, see