Founded on Our Farm
A new strain ripens three weeks earlier than the standard Honeycrisp.
It was a glorious day in August of 2010 when Steve Slaybaugh and his wife found ripe Honeycrisp apples in their family orchard in Pennsylvania. It was August 11, and the apples on one tree were ripe. Steve noticed this was three weeks early.
“Why is the tree ripe?” Slaybaugh recalls saying this to his wife, who was with him on a four-wheeler looking over the crop. Then they tasted it. “It’s ripe! It’s ready to be picked,” he said.
Both quite excited about it, they took an apple home for their son Dave to taste. After the family tasted the apple they new they had found something special. And then began the next big steps of turing this amazing find into a product they could be reproduced and sold across the world.
Premier Honeycrisp discovered by Steve and Dave Slaybaugh of Mt. Ridge Farms in Adams County, PA, is a complete tree sport of Honeycrisp that matures three weeks earlier. From what has been observed over several fruiting seasons, Premier Honeycrisp shares many of the same attributes of the original honeycrisp.
Promoting the New Find
The Slaybaugh's teamed up to show a group of growers and packers what the apple looks like—ripe on the trees, at four locations, on three days, August 13-15.
“We had it tested and it’s a true Honey,” Slaybaugh said, “no less, all the qualities of a regular Honeycrisp. There may be less breakdown, at least so far for us.”
“For the five years we have observed it, it has ripened 20 or 21 days before Honeycrisp,”... “For us in Adams County, Pennsylvania, that’s been August 12 to 16.”
The variety has been identified up until now as DAS 10, which stands for Dave’s initials and the arbitrary number 10. It is being released under the trade name Premier Honeycrisp (DAS 10 Cltv) and has been patented.
For five years it was observed, and overall it ripened 20 or 21 days before Honeycrisp.