Apple Crunch History
In 2021, we returned to in-person Apple Crunch activities! Kindergartners from Silver Mesa Elementary attended an event at the Capitol, Fower's Fruit Ranch in Genola again hosted homeschool students as well as classes from Nebo School District, and our friends at the Green Urban Lunch Box pressed cider with the students from Guadalupe School. And of course, many schools, childcare centers, and community organizations held their own events. We had almost 79,000 participants, and spent almost $25,000 on Utah-grown apples.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah held a virtual Apple Crunch in 2020. Festivities were extended to a full week to allow for different school schedules across the state (and even within districts). The Farm to Fork Task Force put together resources that could be used at home or at school, including short videos about urban gleaning, cider pressing, and apple orchard pest control. Despite disruptions to schedules and the food supply chain, over 50,000 students were able to participate in the 4th annual Utah Apple Crunch.
2019 featured the first ever Mountain Plains Crunch Off, with our original contest participants of Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado being joined by Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Missouri to vie for the greatest number of per-capita crunchers. After a month of intense competition, Nebraska was crowned the 2019 Crunch Champion with a total of 89,179 participants, equaling 4.6% of their population. Utah was a close runner up, with the highest number of total participants (135,538) but only 4.2% of the state population. Utah's festivities included crunches at the State Capitol, in Capitol Reef National Park, and an event for homeschool students.
In 2018 we had a competition with Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado to see who could get the most kids crunching! We won with over 126,000 students participating. Montana was the runner up with a little over 35,000 participants. To recognize the 2018 Farm to Fork event, Governor Herbert declared October 2018 as Utah Farm to Fork Month, and October 17, 2018 as Apple Crunch Day in Utah.
Utah held a statewide Apple Crunch for the first time in 2017, with several school districts who previously held their own crunch events leading the way. Over 30,000 students across the state crunched into Utah apples, learned how apples grow, made applesauce, and took field trips to local orchards.