Friday’s Food for Thought: Mapping Autumn

When and where to see fall foliage, pick apples, and more


With the fall season having officially begun Sept. 23, online maps are following in suit.

The Smoky Mountains National Park published the 2015 Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which chronicles when leaves will change color throughout the U.S. As of today, small portions in the north and along the Rocky Mountains are already near peak foliage, while the lower half of the country has seen minimal change so far. The map is intended to help tourists coordinate their travel plans for optimal opportunity to see beautiful fall foliage.

Planning to go apple picking in Connecticut? The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture collaborated to develop the CT Apples mobile app to map the locations of apple orchards throughout the state. The app also links users to orchard websites for more information such as driving directions and hours of operation. The app is available via iTunes and Google Play.

When purchasing a pumpkin at your local grocery store, have you ever wondered where it came from? Using data from the 2012 USDA Agricultural Census, the Washington Post created a map illustrating where pumpkins are harvested in the U.S. According to the map, U.S. farmers grew 90,165 acres of pumpkins in 2012—totaling approximately 270 million pumpkins produced that year. Though the northeast and the West Coast produce the majority of the country’s pumpkins, Tazewell County, Ill., farms the most pumpkins with nearly 5,000 acres full of the squash.

Photo Credit: Smoky Mountains National Park

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