HOPE – Hope Orchard’s apple picking season officially began at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 21. Emily Davis, co-owner of the orchard, said the apple crop is diminished this year and because of this the orchard will reduce its apple picking days.
“We had a small crop this year,” said Davis, “so we have cut back our hours. We are only here on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this year. We are hoping people come on the weekends and enjoy picking apples.”
Several factors contributed to the small apple crop.
“We had a wet, cold spring,” Davis said. “We had an average bloom, but not a high bloom, so bees didn’t get to pollinate. Across the state, the cold slowed our ripening. That’s why we opened a week late.”
Davis said orchards across the state orchards opened late. She said Ginger Gold will be the hot item for the weekend.
“The Ginger Gold is a dessert apple,” she said. “People just love it. There’s a really good chance they could all be gone by Sunday.”
Davis said new for the orchard this year is an apple trellis.
“It’s a high-density planting and the trees are four feet apart,” she said. “It has irrigation and we can use low spray practices. It’s very cool. We can have the same amount of trees on one acre as we would on five acres otherwise.”
Davis said picking season will last until the end of October.
“We’ll make cider the last three weekends in October,” she said. “We only press when we have an excess of apples and we don’t think we’re going to have an excess this year. And we don’t press the drops, only the tree product because it’s a non pasteurized process.”