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The apples are on

Growers say it’s back to business after last year’s poor apple crop

After being shut out of pick-your-own apple excursions last year, growers say local apple lovers should find a more traditional fall bounty this year.

After being shut out of pick-your-own apple excursions last year, growers say local apple lovers should find a more traditional fall bounty this year.

— “It looks like we are going to have a good crop,” Ten Eyck said. “It won’t be record breaking. We have too few apples in some places and more than normal in other places.”

Edward Miller, owner of Goold Orchards in Castleton, said he expects similar crop yields making for an average season.

“I would say it is a standard crop that we would have,” Miller said. “We have a good crop and quality crop despite the rains that we have fought. It has been an extremely wet year so a lot of fungicide sprays have to be put on to keep disease out of trees.”

Miller said his farm also suffered significant loss last year, near 98 percent on his orchards. He ended up having to offer customers a “pick your own” experience by placing apples in baskets.

“The quality of the apple we had out there was far less than what I would have liked to see and we had to bring in fruit from other locations on Hudson Valley to run operations,” he said.

Some customers were understanding of the reduced crop last year, Miller said, but others weren’t pleased to not have an apple picking outing – a fall tradition for many families.

“We are just going to keep our fingers crossed and get these picked in good condition,” Miller said.

One thing left that could still affect apple is hail, Ten Eyck said. Some sunny days and cold nights will also help apples reach the more marketable red colors consumers have come to prefer. He said crops also do poorly when there are wide fluctuations of weather, such as from very wet to very hot.

“We have a store and make doughnuts and stuff like that but we are primarily a farm,” Ten Eyck said. “Our mission as a farm is … to get Americans to stop sliding down the slippery slope by feeding ourselves from waving money in the air.”

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