The apple and honey tradition on Rosh Hashana saw Israelis consumed 15,000 tons of apples during the month of September, an increase of almost 50 percent from average consumption during the rest of the year.
Israel’s crop of apples is of a particularly high quality this year, according to Amos Levin, general manager of the Galilee Development Corporation and chairman of the apple division of Israel’s Plants Production and Marketing Board.
Harvested from August through November, this year’s apple crop has been noted for its excellent size, color, and taste. “This summer’s relative cooler temperatures, especially at night, helped produce a higher quality of crop,” Levin said.
Nearly all of Israel’s apples – approximately 95 percent – are grown in the hills of the Galilee and the Golan, because apples require cooler weather to grow best. The apple orchards are located on hills that are 600 meters up or higher, and cover 42,000 dunam (10,500 acres).
More than 100,000 tons of apples are sold in Israel each year, with the apple market valued at NIS 700 million annually, which serves as the core for the local economy in the Golan Heights. In addition to the local production, about 7,000 tons of apples are imported into Israel from the U.S. and Europe.
While Israel typically exports few of its apples abroad, this year the country exported 18,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers living in the Golan to Syria, in coordination with the Plants Production and Marketing Board, the IDF, and the Red Cross.
Read more at The Algemeiner Journal.