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Ed & Louella Costanza
Now also in Edgewood, NM
Note: Margaret, Laura and Paul (Ed's sisters and brother) still have the Robert Costanza Orchard in Belen, NM.
APPLE HARVEST 2012
Costanza Orchards has gone through some changes. The Robert & Jackie Costanza Orchard in Belen is now owned by Ed's sisters Margaret and Laura and brother Paul. This orchard is home to over 1,000 apple trees nestled on 6˝ acres in the lower Rio Grande Valley in northeast Belen. Bob & Jackie planted the orchard in 1962 with six kids and 550 trees.
The original orchard had over 1,100 apple trees on 6˝ acres in the lower Rio Grande Valley in northeast Belen. Bob & Jackie with their six children planted 550 red and golden apples trees in 1962 and continued to plant more trees until Bob died. In 2009 the apple orchard was split between 3 of the six children. Ed and Louella (the oldest son) planted their own orchard in Edgewood, NM that include apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plumbs, apricots, gooseberries, blackberries, elder berries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Costanza Orchards begins its annual harvest late July with a small crop of early gold and ginger gold apples. Labor Day weekend we go into full production with the Red & Golden Delicious & continue thru late October with the addition of Winesaps and our most popular “Arkansas Black”. We are open as long as we have apples, generally thru the end of December.
Costanza Orchards sells direct from the farm (people come from all over the state to buy our apples) and from grower markets. Many customers deliver or ship our apples to friends and family across the country. Our apples are great in pies, cakes, salads, applesauce, apple butter, freezing, canning, candy apples or just plain ol’ healthy snacks! We also have customers who buy apples to feed to their horses and dogs!
We have 20 varieties of apples. Several varieties are used only for cross-pollination; others are not at production stage.
Currently we harvest Twelve varieties:
2012 Harvest Dates
Ginger Golds mid- August
Early Golds September 1st
Honey Crisp September 1st
Jonathan September 1st
Fuji September 1st
Golden Delicious September 1st
Rome September 15th
Winesap late September
Staymen Winesap late September
Granny Smith mid October
Arkansas Black mid October
Hours of Operation
Sunday - Friday: 10:00 to 6:00
During the month of August please call for appointment (505-286-4843)
Costanza Orchards has over 100 bee hives to pollinate the trees. Each hive has one queen bee and about 200 drones (male bees) and 60,000-100,000 female worker bees per hive! That’s over 6 million bees that travel around the neighborhood pollinating trees, flowers, vegetables, & other crops! Each hive can produce 120-200 pounds of honey a year and we leave half of it for the bees to feed on during winter. Ed Costanza, the bee specialist, cares for the bees. He’s known as the “bee man” and is called by businesses and home-owners when they have a swarm of bees that need removed. Trivia: bees visit an average 2,500,000 flowers to make one pound of honey!
Costanza Orchards has both pesticide free and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) orchards. This program uses knowledge, cultural practices, pest scouting (monitoring), and action levels to determine when pest action is needed. We use a monitoring program using Pheromone traps to determine the presence of damaging insects. We seek to use only organic methods of pest control and growing practices to provide quality fruit to our customers and we continue to stay updated on new, safe methods in which to do so. We are also licensed by the State of New Mexico in the use of pesticide management.
Costanza Orchards is a great experience for the entire family! We welcome each of you and look forward to seeing our old friends who have been coming out since our first harvest!
Tips for Storing Apples
Store small quantities in your refrigerator, in plastic bags in the crisper--between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't allow them to freeze. Because apples can absorb odors from other foods stored in the same area, keep apples in plastic bags. The plastic also helps apples retain their own moisture.
Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. One or two days sitting on a counter top and the fresh crunch of your apple is lost forever.
Lemon juice helps prevent apple discoloration.
Be careful about sugar--too much spoils the natural flavor and makes them mushy.
How Much? How Many?
One pound of apples consists of:
4 small apples
3 medium apples
2 large apples
Two medium apples are equivalent to one cup grated apple.
About two pounds of apples make one 9' apple pie
A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds.
A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
One pound of apples yields 3 cups diced apples or 2-3/4 cups pared and sliced apples.
Quick Apple Snack
Melt a few Kraft caramels in the microwave. Core and slice an apple into large wedges. Dip the tip of the apple wedge into the melted caramel, then bite and enjoy! Add chopped nuts if desired.
Or spread apple slices with peanut butter for an easy children’s snack; or dip slices in honey and roll in granola.
Updated Audio Version