Cornell Orchards Store

@mamuang Did you try RubyFrost?

A couple years ago, I picked a bushel at an orchard outside of Watkins Glen. They are suppose to compete with Honeycrisp, so I was a little surprised that were just another crunchy sweet-tart apple. The last ones I ate were starting to develop a honey flavor to them. I did some research and they are suppose to be stored for at least a month to develop flavor (they are a long storage apple). Whoops! I used almost all of mine within a month. It seems like they might have potential. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get back there during the picking window. Strangely, I haven’t seen them sold in my area.

Yes, I did. We bought 1/4 peck in Oct. We also ate free samples at this last visit. Just like you said, nothing stood out.

SnapDragon, on the other hand, stood out for its intense sweetness. Those who love crunchy, very sweet apples would love it.

What I really like about this store is that they offer buckets full of samples. You can try all and decide which ones to buy (or not).

I and other family members did not detect any anise flavor from Test B.

The only “honeyed” taste I’ve ever detected in apples was from Hoople’s Antique Gold, even when right off the tree.

Pick window is mid-October, so now would be the time to try them.

I will try to keep it longer next time.

The last ones we ate was on Tues, 11/21. Still, nothing stood out. That’s why we did not buy more. Test A stood out among 10+ varieties we sampled there. I would buy it again.

Well, I’m not good with flavor descriptions. I’m referring to the syrupy flavor that RD, Fuji and good Honeycrisps have.

Maybe they don’t have reliable flavor, like a lot of apples I’ve tried in recent years. The first time I picked CrimsonCrisp, from the same orchard, it had an amazing spicy flavor. The second year it was just sweet-tart.

Among the apples offered at that store, SnapDragon would fit the bill you described. It had firm texture, very sweet, in the same league as good Fuji.

After 110 years, the Cornell Orchard Store will be closing for good. Its last day is January 31. This is not just for the season, but forever. Its store managers and other employees are losing their jobs on rather short notice. Some attribute the decision to management shifting from the orchard to the Cornell Store. Non-apple produce and merchandise were added, and a profit margin was sought. It kept losing money, however. Rumor is that an apple stand only will be operated for a few weeks during the harvest season starting next fall. Maybe that will more closely resemble what the Orchard Store looked like 100 years ago.

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Thanks for letting us know. I love going there.

Yes, sad to see it go. I used to frequent it a lot when I lived in that area years ago.

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Cummins is located at Indian Creek Farm on Rt 96 toward Trumansburg. They have a U-Pick orchard there and usually have something available at their farm stand all summer. Another place to check out is Black Diamond Farm / Black Diamond Cider. They’re usually at the Ithaca Farmers Market. Fingerlakes Cider House further up the lake in Interlaken is also worth a visit.

We went to Cummins farm stand. We did not know at the time because the sign did not say Cummins. We later checked the address. It was Cummins’ address. The farm stand was nothing special in late Sept.

We love Ithaca’s weekend Farmer’s Market. Shopped and eaten there several times. Will check Black Diamond Farm. We take a trip to Ithaca 4-5 times a year.

Thank you for your suggestion.

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Ian and Jackie opened up Black Diamond for a farm tour last September for Finger Lakes Cider Week. Don’t know if they will be doing that every year.

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They make very good cider. If you see Redbyrd cider definitely give that a try too. Not sure if Eric gives tours…

They had a Twelfth Night celebration a couple weeks ago at their orchard, but that’s not exactly a tour.

When you guys say “cider”, do you mean regular apple cider or hard cider?

Black Diamond and Redbyrd make hard cider.

The Cornell Orchard Store may have closed, but there was a story in one of the local weeklies about a different Cornell apple-selling venture.

For two years short of seven decades, Cornell has sold apples in a vending machine. Its current location is by the entrance to Mann Library. Some of Cornell’s own, Empire, Liberty, Macoun, Wayne, Autumn Crisp, Rubyfrost, and Snapdragon, have debuted or at least made an early appearance in the machine. Test varieties have been featured as well. Other apples, new and old, have rotated in, including Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Northern Spy, Gala, Mutsu and Shizuka, and Gold Rush. In order for a variety to be sold, it has to be grown in one of Cornell’s orchards.

I’ve seen the machine but have not spent a dollar on an apple from it.


I saw the machine. I wish such a vending machine is available in more places.

Snap Dragon is a very nice apple and often sold out at Cornell Orchard store when we stopped by before its closing.

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