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VOORHEESVILLE: Apple growers expect bumper crop

Apple season is fast approaching, and though the lack of substantial rainfall and dry weather conditions have left some trees stressed throughout the country, apple production in the state is forecast at 1.29 billion pounds this year, three percent above last year's average, according to a news release put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This is good news for apple growers in the area including Peter Ten Eyck, president of Indian Ladder Farms in Voorheesville.

Despite the statewide hail that occurred a few weeks into July that had growers concerned about the impact on fruit size, Ten Eyck said he has no worries because size doesn't matter.

The issue with apple crops is not really an issue with size, it's an issue with quality, he said. "We think we've got a quality crop, and were pleased."

Ten Eyck said his orchards are expected to be open to the public on Labor Day weekend, where customers can start picking Jonamac apples, and eventually more than 30 different kinds as the season progresses.

For those who can't wait that long and want an early taste of what the season has to offer, the staff at Indian Ladder Farms has already started picking some ripe varieties that are now available for sale at the Indian Ladder farms indoor market, like Tydeman and Paula Red apples, which Ten Eyck describes as small and crisp eating apples similar to the McIntosh.

The farm is also selling two new apple varieties that they have never sold before, Zestar and Pristine.

Cecelia Soloviev, who is an education coordinator for Indian Ladder Farms children's events, helps out with production pre-picking season. She said word of new apples is big news for the staff.

"When a different variety of apple comes out, all the people here get really excited," she said.

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