YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima will be the apple of the stamp world’s eye today with the U.S. Postal Service release here of four stamps depicting apple varieties.
The first-day release, to be made during a ceremony set for noon at the main post office on Washington Avenue, is believed to be a first for Yakima and may also be the first time apples have adorned stamps.
The stamps are postcards featuring the Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Northern Spy and Baldwin apple varieties.
Ernie Swanson, Postal Service spokesman in Seattle, said postal officials will be on hand for the unveiling of the stamp art work. Stamps can be purchased at that time and, for collectors, a Yakima postmark will be available for 30 days.
He said the Postmaster General adopted the recommendation of a citizens advisory committee to feature apple varieties on the new stamps.
“When the decision was made to have these apple stamps, the people at headquarters looked to see where was a good place to have the ceremony,” Swanson said. “As you know, Washington produces a lot of apples.”
The most, in fact, of any state. Washington growers produced a record crop last fall of 129 million boxes for fresh sale.
The Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are staples of the Washington industry. Until recently, Golden Delicious was the second most produced variety in the state. It has since been overtaken by Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith.
The other two varieties on the stamps are East Coast apples and have been around for hundreds of years. The Northern Spy was discovered in New York around 1800 and is said to be good for baking. Native to Massachusetts and discovered about 1740, the Baldwin variety is named after a Revolutionary War soldier and politician.
The new stamps come in time for an increase in stamp prices Jan. 27 to 46 cents for a first-class stamp and 33 cents for the postcard variety.