Vintage Apple Quality Featured at the 2006 Pennsylvania Farm Show
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by Thomas E. Piper, volunteer, member of the committee.
The Fruit Exhibit Hall at the Pennsylvania Farm Show featured 469 entries of apples and pears displayed in bushel, ½ bushel, peck, single tray, bag, over-wrap and gift packages. The past season was a vintage year for local apples, and fruit quality at the Farm Show was exceptional. The Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board handed out samples of new apple varieties from 1:00 to 3:00 pm each week day, and the Adams County Fruit Growers Association had an educational display just outside the Fruit Exhibit Hall.
The theme for the 90th Pennsylvania Farm Show, held Jan. 7-14, 2006, in Harrisburg, was “An Agricultural Tradition for Generations.” The fruit industry in Pennsylvania is indeed grateful to the grower exhibitors for upholding the tradition, presenting an excellent quality display of fresh fruit for the educational benefit of an expected 400,000 visitors.
Representing Adams County growers were Hollabaugh Brothers and Peters Orchards. The Mickey family from Shatzers Orchard and Terry Gillan represented Franklin County. Strites Orchard from Dauphin County was the other major exhibitor. Pleasant Acres Orchard in Berks County and Gwen Buck from Lebanon County each displayed one entry of apples.
The Peters Orchards of 10540 Carlisle Pike, Gardners, claimed highest honors for Adams County, showing the Best Bushel, variety Nittany, which also earned the Best of Show award. Hollabaugh Brothers Fruit Farm and Market located at 481 Carlisle Road, Biglerville, entered five first place entries. Dwight, Jack and Wilma Mickey of Shatzer Orchards located at 2197 Lincoln Way West, Chambersburg, in Franklin County, had the majority of entries and awards. Another Franklin County grower, Terry Gillan from the St. Thomas area, garnered twenty-three awards for his placings in the fruit show. His participation helped Franklin County retain the Gabriel Heister Award for their county growers association. The award is made to the county having the largest number of members exhibiting fruit and those members having the greatest total score on winnings. Strites’ Orchards located on Chambers’ Hill just east of Harrisburg was also a major participant in the show. Their Roadside Fruit Market exhibit was awarded first place.
Win Cowgill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Area Fruit Agent served as the Judge. John Berry of Allentown, PA judged the farm market entries. Tara Baugher, a member of the Adams County Extension staff was chair of the committee responsible for organizing the fruit show. During lunch break on Friday, January 6, the Judging Day, Dennis C. Wolff, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, honored the many volunteers who assist with the annual Farm Show when he presented a special plaque to John Z. Shearer, retired County Agricultural Agent from Franklin County, in recognition of fifty years of service to the Farm Show.