Apples will be the topic on today's AM Minnesota. My guest will be David Bedford who is an apple breeder at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The apple breeding program at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is one of the few and oldest apple breeding programs in the United States. David Bedford has been on AM Minnesota a number of times in the past. It is always fun to talk about the apple industry in Minnesota and how this years crop will be.

I remember an interesting fact about how the apple breeding program got started at the University of Minnesota. When the settlers moved from the east coast to the Minnesota Territory they brought apples along. Apples were a means of survival. They were nutritious, easy to store and could be eaten in many different ways. However, the apple varieties that were grown in the east were not hardy enough to survive a cold Minnesota winter.

Because settlers liked and needed apples the apple breeding program was developed at the University of Minnesota. Remember, the University of Minnesota was there well before Minnesota even became a state. The apple breeding program has been there ever since and has developed many apple varieties you would recognize, Honeycrisp, Zestar, Snowsweet, SweeTango, Honeygold, Fireside just to name a few. It is also fun to see these apple varieties for sale at local orchards and grocery stores.


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