Cosmic Crisp® isn’t the first Washington State University apple to go to market. That distinction goes to WA 2, or Sunrise Magic®.
Like Cosmic Crisp, Sunrise Magic was bred at WSU for Washington growers. But it wasn’t launched with the same hype. And it still isn’t as well-known as its successor. Proprietary Variety Management, which is handling the commercialization of both Cosmic Crisp and Sunrise Magic, is working to change that—just as WSU’s pome fruit breeding program continues working on creating new varieties.
“This pandemic has exposed every weakness in our food system,” says Nicole Witham, statewide coordinator of the Washington State University Food Systems Program. “It has exposed every supply chain issue”—especially early on.
“Food wasn’t showing up at food banks,” says Witham (’10 Int. Des). “Grocery stores were experiencing shortages. All of a sudden, our team was doing food-system response work,” including involvement with a statewide task force.
When lockdown orders first went into effect, Witham says, Washington state’s small farmers “lost all of their restaurant accounts and many of their wholesale accounts right off the bat. Many had to switch to online farmers market platforms or online sales.”
In the verdant woods outside Covington, Dane Scarimbolo brews local beer.
After graduating from Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program, Scarimbolo ’10 realized a wine startup would take a lot of money and time. He enjoyed making beer, so he opened Four Horsemen Brewery in 2015 with an eye toward an older, community-minded ethos that could please the beer equivalent of a locavore.
“I was adamant about sourcing everything from Washington,” he says. In that spirit, Scarimbolo sells his craft beer at farmers markets in the region, just like farmers offer lettuce, carrots, and berries grown locally. Scarimbolo knows the beekeepers who … » More …