Pick a wooden apple, win an iPod

Vermont’s pick-your-own orchards will offer a chance to win an iPod during the Apples to iPods promotion that kicks off next week. In this technology-meets-agriculture contest, one specially marked wooden apple is hidden in an apple tree at 20 Vermont pick-your-own apple orchards. The lucky apple picker who finds a wooden apple wins an Apple iPod, iPod Shuffle, or iPad.

This good-natured promotion of Vermont’s working landscape is in partnership with Woodchuck Hard Cider, Small Dog Electronics, Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The State of Vermont first launched this promotion in 2007 with hopes of growing participation at Vermont pick-your-own orchards. Since the launch, participation has been incredibly ‘fruitful’ across Vermont.

Vermont’s nearly 4,000 acres of commercial apple orchards produce leading apple varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, and Empire. In 1999, the Vermont legislature designated the apple as the state fruit and the apple pie as the state pie.

“Visiting Vermont’s apple orchards is a family tradition and in true Vermont fashion, the ‘Apples to iPods’ contest makes this fall event even more fun,” said Megan Smith, Vermont’s commissioner of tourism and marketing. “Apple picking is the perfect way to experience Vermont’s gorgeous autumn landscape and participate in a festive and tasty activity.”

For a second year, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing is also helping the Vermont Foodbank promote Pick for Your Neighbor, where visitors to participating orchards can pick and purchase extra apples to donate to the Foodbank. Last year, Pick for Your Neighbor made nearly 10,000 apples available to Vermonters in need.

“Pick for Your Neighbor is a win for all involved,” said Michelle Wallace, program director at the Vermont Foodbank. “Orchards see an economic benefit from increased sales, the Foodbank has access to fresh, local apples for distribution, and participants experience a great Vermont tradition while helping their neighbors in need.”

For a list of participating orchards, please visit www.applestoipods.com. Learn about “Pie Chi” in a video with Nick Cowles at Shelburne Orchards: www.thisisvt.com.

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