NEW YORK — With Rosh Hashanah now only 10 days away, two major New York State industries are rejoicing, the apple and honey industries. They covet the fact that not only do Jews eat apples dipped in honey to signify the desire for a good and sweet year, but they make enough honey cake that certainly makes New York’s robust honey industry kvell. The Empire State Honey Producers Association, the leading organization for New York’s honey industry even has recipes for a honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. Grocery sources estimate that nearly half of the New York manufactured honey is kosher. Just imagine that with all the honey that will be consumed either as part of the apples and honey or honey cake, the amount of honey consumed is off the charts. After all, it takes 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
On the flip side is the apple industry in New York, which is the second largest apple producing state in the US. More than 25 million bushels of apples are produced in New York annually for a value of $268 million. There are approximately 694 commercial apple growers in New York State. One New York retailer said: “It may surprise you but we sell more apples on Passover than before Rosh Hashanah.” It is no wonder that Bob Lewis of the New York State Department of Agriculture has been advocating expanding his open air farmers markets to apples and honey. Mr. Lewis is responsible for the growing number of open air farmers markets in New York City.