Business, Finance & Economics

Canadian Apple Farmer Uses Helicopter to Save Crops from Frost

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A painting of Mountain Orchards in Ontario (Photo: Mountain Orchards 1975)

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McIntosh apples or Macs are named after Scottish-Canadian farmer John McIntosh, who's credited with discovering this variety or cultivar back around 1800.

According to the local Ontario Heritage Trust plaque:

"After moving to Canada in 1796 from the United States, John McIntosh acquired a farm near this site in 1811. While clearing the land, he found apple seedlings and transplanted them. The trees grew and produced the famous McIntosh red apples."

The question is: Which Canadian town is the setting for this important chapter of apple history?

To find out where the mother of all McIntosh apple trees once stood, we called up apple farmer Phil Lyall who runs Mountain Orchards in southern Ontario. His orchards are located in southern Ontario not far from where John McIntosh had his farm back around 1800 in the small town of Dundela, Ontario, Canada.

Lyall says that "unseasonably warm weather brought the apple trees out of dormancy three weeks earlier than normal this year. But when the blossoms emerged meteorologists were predicting below zero temperatures."

"Fortunately, there was one option, one chance to save the crop. And it was going to come from the sky. We hired a helicopter. The big bird was to blow the warm air from above down on the ground where the trees were suffering."

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