UMass Dining sourced about $70,000 worth of apples from Cold Spring Orchard in the fiscal year 2016. Our Chefs incorporate these apples into recipes like Apple Cheddar Walnut Salad, Apple Glazed BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast, and Apple Walnut Wild Rice. Cold Spring Orchard apples were also featured in all four dining commons from October 12th to 22nd during Apple Week.
Shawn explained how Cold Spring Orchard practices Integrated Pest Management, which focuses on the long-term prevention of pests, uses pesticides selectively, and minimizes risks to human health and the environment. Instead of spraying acres of land with pesticides, Cold Spring Orchard monitors each acre individually, measuring the level of pests in each area and spraying only the acres where pests reach a high enough threshold. Shawn spends around six hours a week monitoring acres for pests.
This has been the toughest year Shawn has ever had working at Cold Spring Orchard. Because of cold temperatures this winter and spring, they lost their peach crop and about 50% of their apples. Additionally, because of the drought, another 10-15% of their apple crop was lost to premature dropping.
“I think too often, people have no idea the energy, dedication, hard work, and a love for the land it takes to grow locally sourced food. By making these connections with local farms, people are able to see first hand how hard farm workers work and the pride we feel in supplying our communities with healthy and responsibly grown food.” -Shawn McIntire
Thanks so much, Shawn for taking the time to speak with us!