When Apple (and other) Trees Bloom

The arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere can be a moving target. Too early and frost can be a risk factor, while a late spring can push the growing season. Whenever it arrives, fruit tree blossoms are always a welcome sight. Most of us look at an orchard and see a blanket of beautiful flowers. To the untrained eye it can be hard to differentiate the blooms of apricots from those of an apple or peach. Lucky for you, we can help. For those in the pacific northwest, here’s a guide to what fruit trees are blooming when. Fruit
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Modern Apple Growing

Science and technology are advancing at a rapid pace, making life easier and more convenient. Agriculture sees its share of these benefits but the true advantage is realized when we can find our way to a place where old and new meet in harmony. Apple growing has changed. Sprawling trees have been replaced by smaller, more productive ones in high-density orchards. Gone is water-wasting overhead irrigation in favor of more efficient drip systems. Through it all, a few things remain the same – sometimes getting a helping hand. Grafted, not seeded Apple seeds are a genetically creative group. If planted,
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We’re Hiring: Plant Transformation and Regeneration Technician

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is seeking a motivated Transformation and Regeneration Technician to join our Transformation and Cultivar Development Group in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Under the direct supervision of the Laboratory Manager and in coordination with other technicians, the successful candidate will be primarily involved in the development and optimization of transformation and regeneration protocols. These protocols will be used in the creation of transgenic lines of both currently used and future tree fruit varieties. The candidate will also work in conjunction with other laboratory staff and research scientists to drive projects forward to positive conclusions in a streamlined fashion. Deadline
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An Arctic®Hat Trick: golden, granny, and FUJI

Just recently we received approval from Canadian government regulatory authorities for another apple variety: the Arctic® Fuji. This means we now have three apples in the Arctic® family – which in hockey terms would be a hat trick. (we had to say it) With our fall 2017 inaugural launch of Arctic® Golden packaged slices in a handful of US locations we saw good response to our fresh packaged fruit. And since our Arctic® Fuji already has USDA approval, we thought it time to review how and when which Arctic® apple varieties will get from our house to yours. Because this
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Arctic® Fuji Apple Receives Canadian Approval

Summerland, B.C., Canada – Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) third nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, Arctic® Fuji, has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC). The CFIA and HC announced today that the Arctic® Fuji variety “did not pose a greater risk to human health than apples currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that the Arctic® Fuji apple would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of the Arctic® Fuji apple compared to other traditional apple varieties available for consumption”. Arctic® Fuji trees will join
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The Cellular Kitchen: science and sustainable food

Over the last two decades technology has advanced at a brisk pace. But tech is not the only place of rapid growth and development. Together, science and tech have a significant role in changing conversations around food and sustainability. We talked earlier about what it means to be sustainable. Aside from having recycling bins and a garden compost, sustainability for us includes looking for ways to mindfully grow the food supply while reducing food waste. Innovating. This is where science comes in. As an orchardist and bioresource engineer, Neal’s natural place to start was with apples. Arctic® apples answered a
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GMO Communication (Part 2): A ripe educational opportunity

Last week I shared some of the personal experiences that have shaped my understanding of GMO perceptions. This week, I will be talking about the importance of biotech champions, and some of the most important lessons we’ve learned for effectively sharing information on GMOs in a way that resonates with a wide, diverse audience. Bridging the communications gap In January 2015 Pew Research found that 88% of scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) say GE foods are generally safe, but 57% of U.S. adults aren’t so sure. Months earlier, the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
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GMO communication (Part 1): The juice is worth the squeeze

Over fifteen years before the first nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety was even approved in the U.S. and Canada, my family and I received a rude awakening regarding how big a challenge we had gotten ourselves into. Activists angry about the development of GMO apples had hacked over 650 of our young apple trees down. These particular trees weren’t even genetically engineered, but the activists either didn’t realize or simply didn’t care! Being involved in agriculture for over three decades, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from the weather, pests and even people. And, while I’m happy to say the attack
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Arctic® Fuji Gains USDA Approval

  Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ (OSF) third nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, the Arctic® Fuji, has been granted deregulated status by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).  Arctic® Fuji apples have been found to be as safe and nutritious as conventional apples, joining OSF’s Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties. “The response to Arctic® Fuji apples and our overall platform to deliver direct benefits to consumers has been encouraging,” said Neal Carter, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ founder and president.  “We are confident the positive feedback we have received will translate to the marketplace.” The approval follows
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Arctic® Fuji – another step closer

Arctic® Fuji apples are now one step closer to U.S. deregulation! Following the submission of our initial application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) requesting nonregulated status (commercial approval), we are excited to announce that OSF’s Arctic® Fuji petition  is now available to the public. This application contains data on the introduction and testing of the nonbrowning trait in Fuji variety apples which uses the same safe, beneficial technology as the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden. This APHIS petition differs from the petition submitted for our initial varieties because it is considered an
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