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WA 38 apples in Prosser, Washington. Photo by TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower

WA 38 apples in Prosser, Washington. Photo by TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower

Close-up of our June 2015 cover with a "blemish" caused by a printing flaw.

Close-up of our June 2015 cover with a “blemish” caused by a printing flaw.

We put a lot of effort into choosing spectacular covers for each issue of Good Fruit Grower, so you can imagine our surprise when this note from a grower arrived at our office a few days ago: “I picked up the mail at our rural box and glanced at your cover and thought ‘that’s kinda ballsy, putting a blemished apple on the front cover.’ ”

Yikes!

But our worries were abated as the letter continued: “Closer inspection revealed it to be a printing flaw—I hope it was a ‘one off’ and not a widespread problem—I look forward to your consistently outstanding cover art and appreciate the effort you make in that regard. I thought you might like to see it and hope this in not the 1000th communication you’ve received about it.”

Whew!

Fortunately, it was not a widespread problem, but as you can see in the close-up image of the “blemished” magazine, it was quite the coincidental place for a printing flaw to show up.

The cover of our June issue features the striking WA 38 “Cosmic Crisp” variety developed by Washington State University’s breeding program. It’s an absolutely gorgeous apple, as you can see in this photograph taken by my Good Fruit Grower colleague TJ Mullinax. And after the folks from WSU stopped by a few weeks ago with some WA 38 samples, I can tell you it’s an absolutely great tasting apple, too.

Our focus for our June edition is “Varieties,” and these days there are plenty of varieties on the market—some might even say too many, as you can read in our special series in this issue. Marketing all these enticing apples without overwhelming consumers and finding the shelf space in crowded grocery store aisles is a big challenge for the industry. But more than quite a few folks seem to feel it’s a good challenge to have.

As for me, I’ll keep sampling every variety I can. And enjoy each bite.