New Harmony community members support their local volunteer Fire Department through the annual Apple Harvest Festival.The Apple Harvest festival has been an annual event for the past 19 years.
Matt Goodman, the chairman of the Harmony Valley volunteer fire association, said, his job as chairman is to make sure the Fire Department gets the funding they need.
The budget isn’t adequate enough to get the equipment we need here,” Goodman said. “And that is why we put on events like this. This event-the Apple Festival, provides for the bulk of our funding.”
Matt Goodman, the chairman of the Harmony Valley volunteer fire association, said, his job as chairman is to make sure the Fire Department
Goodman has been running this event for the past four years. With the money they have raised in the past four years they have been able to buy new computers, upgrade security and get several thousand dollars worth of personal gear for the firefighters. “We have been averaging the last four years that I have been running it anywhere between $3,000-$3,500,” said Goodman. “This year we are on track to do $5,000-$6,000.”
Nineteen years ago when the fire association was established, they needed a way to raise money.
“New Harmony is known for their apples,” he said. “We have several apple growers here in town and that’s how it got started. We have people from all over coming out to get these apples. I’ve had people as far as New York; most people are from Vegas and up north.”
Due to the warm weather from January to March of this year, the trees started to grow buds. But due to an unusual snowstorm the buds were frozen. “The freeze killed about 95 percent of the crop. Only one apple farmer survived the freeze and he is here today,” said Goodman.
Gary Suupe was the only local farmer who was able to survive the freeze. He is a certified USDA grower at Little America Orchard. Since he works on an organic farm, he was able to keep his apples alive during the freeze with the help of heaters.
“I could have sold three weeks ago, but I kept my cooler and my freezer going just to help out the Fire Department,” Suppe said.
With the lack of apples found in New Harmony this past year, apples were brought in from Santaquin.
“The reason we picked Santaquin is because they are at the same elevation we are at here,”Goodman said. “So they are as close to New Harmony apples as we can get. I won’t say they are as good, but they are very close.”
Goodman mentioned there will be other events throughout the year to continue to raise money for the Fire Department. Visit www.newharmonyfire.com for more information.