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My dad (Luke) has about 4 acres of orchard over on the homefarm. In this orchard you will find all kinds of old heirloom apples growing along with pears, blueberries plums etc. He also has various fruit trees tucked into all sorts of corners and along fence rows etc all over the farm. All this orchard is manged without the use of any chemical fertilizers or sprays. Mixed into this is all sorts of wildflowers and in general a huge diversity of life.
In the winter I take some of these fine heirloom apples (mixed kinds) and dry them. They make a lovely snack food when you are driving or walking out to the field to work etc. You can also use them in the more tradional ways for pie etc. In bygone years dried apples were a major industry here in New York. Somehow in the rush for progress many of us have skipped past this fine, healthy snack food and now eat soda and chips instead.I have a homemade apple dryer that I use to do the drying. After supper on winter evenings or first thing in the morning when the cookstove is going, we slice a batch of apples. (I need warm, dry air for the drier to work) It takes about 8 lbs of fresh apples to get 1lb of dry apples. The price is $2.50 for a quarter pound bag or $8.00 per LB. We also sell them in larger amounts (10lbs) for $6.00 Lb. Daniel