How apples became a symbol of Minnesota

​A collection of apples, some cut in half, sit on a wooden backdrop.
​ Whether you prefer Honeycrisp, Haralsons or SweeTango, apples are a symbol of autumn in Minnesota.

As the weather gets colder, Minnesotans are heading to apple orchards to pick some of their favorite varieties. And there are many to choose from: Honeycrisp, Haralson, SweeTango and Honeygold are just a few of the many apple varieties that were bred and now grow in Minnesota. 

MPR News host Angela Davis explores the history of apples in Minnesota, why they grow so well here, the development of different apple varieties and the best ways to prepare and eat the fruit with an apple breeder, an orchard owner and a chef.


  • David Bedford is a senior research fellow in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Horticultural Science. He specializes in apple breeding. 

  • Gretchen Perbix is the owner and operator of Sweetland Orchard in Webster.  

  • Rachael Perron is the Culinary & Brand Director for Kowalski's Markets. 

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.