Professor, family polishing their apple-growing methods in North Logan
By Brook Cox
NORTH LOGAN -- Residents of North Logan have the chance to eat an apple a day and keep the doctor away. In the middle of town lies Green Canyon Orchard, an 11-acre apple farm with more than 14 varieties of apples growing on 950 trees.
Green Canyon Orchard is at 1780 N. 1200 East and owned by Alvin R. and Jeniene Hamson.
Hamson has a doctorate from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and taught there for four years before taking a position with Utah State University, where he eventually became the acting department head of the horticulture and plant science department. He is now retired. He specializes in vegetables, and also knows a whole lot about apples.
Hamson said his farm was started by the Wilhelm family. His father bought the farm from Ulrich Keller, who planted most of the trees in 1948. This makes most of the trees 51 years old, but Hamson said there have been apple trees over 100 years old in the orchard. He has run the farm for 30 years and added many new trees.
Hamson has worked to keep problems out, and has grafted healthy apple branches on trees that were suffering from disease. By grafting, he said he said he has saved about 60 trees.
"There are a lot of particular things to do with an orchard and you have to do everything well," he said. Among these, Hamson said, are pruning, fertilizing and irrigating.
Harvesting apples this year has been different than most years. Usually Green Canyon Orchard picks about 5,000 boxes a year, each weighing around 40 pounds.
"This year we'll grow maybe 600 or 700 (boxes), because it froze at a vulnerable time," Hamson said.
Because of this, the cost of picking apples is higher, forcing the selling price higher also. The Hamsons sell their apples for between $9 and $13 a box, depending on the size of the apples. Green Canyon Orchard apples are kept constantly in cold storage, which the Hamsons say makes them taste better. They do not wax their apples. Wax is hard to remove from apples and can leave a bitter taste, he said.
Green Canyon Orchard wholesales some of its apples, but Hamson says the majority are sold to a private clientele of about 100 people. Customers come to the Hamson home at 1780 N. 1200 East to purchase apples; their hours are "from daylight to dark, but call first." The orchard also makes cider, which sells for $4 a gallon.
Apples are full of vitamin C, fiber and even low-grade antibiotics,
which can help respiratory problems, Hamson said."They are nature's
toothbrush," he said, and of course, "an apple a day keeps the doctor
Archived Months:September 1998