When the first European settlers arrived in the New World, they found no apples, only a few types of wild crabapples. The earliest record of cultivated apples in New England appeared in 1623, just three years after the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. The region has had a strong apple growing tradition ever since.
A number of varieties were discovered here, including the popular heirlooms Roxbury Russet, America’s oldest named variety, in 1635; Baldwin; Northern Spy; and Rhode Island Greening. Today, about 30 to 40 varieties are grown in commercial quantities, with many more planted in smaller amounts. New England’s leading apples are McIntosh, which accounts for about two-thirds of the crop; Cortland; Macoun; Empire; Gala; and Honeycrisp.
The nonprofit New England Apple Association was founded in 1935 by a group of wholesale growers from the New England states and New York, and incorporated as the New York & New England Apple Institute. In 1993 New York created its own marketing organization, and the institute was renamed the Northeast McIntosh Growers Association, which was eventually shortened to New England Apple Association.
Today the six-state region comprising Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont produces between 3.5 million and 4 million 42-pound boxes of fresh apples every year. By acreage, the biggest state is Massachusetts (3,100), followed by Maine (2,700), Connecticut (1,800), Vermont (1,700), New Hampshire (1,300) and Rhode Island (230).
The New England Apple Association’s mission is to promote the New England apple industry through educational and promotional events and projects. Our website introduces visitors to the wide variety of New England apples, the nutritional value of apples, and how apples are grown and prepared
Board of Directors
Ned O’Neill, Chair
J. P. Sullivan & Co.
Mo Tougas, Vice Chair
Tougas Family Farm
John Rogers, Treasurer
Green Mountain Orchards
University of Rhode Island
Apple Hill Farm
Concord, New Hampshire