Apple picking season in jeopardy
Posted at: 09/19/2012 6:05 PM
| Updated at: 09/19/2012 6:10 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
Some farmers lost more than 90% of their crops and it’s considered one of the worst years for fruit farmers in the area.
The unusual warm weather in March followed by the frost in April cost the farming industry millions of dollars. More than a dozen fruit farms are not allowing apple picking this year and for the few that will allow it, things will be a little different.
Nicole Buscemi has been anxiously waiting to take her son apple picking this season for the very first time.
Buscemi said, “My son is only two and he’s running and picking at apples and he loves it.”
For the family, it seems as if they have a lot to choose from. But in reality, these crops are in big trouble.
Buscemi said, “This is the first time we've been out and this is the first time we found out so we don't have a big choice but we're going to make do with what we have.”
Green Acre Farms is one of very few locations in the area where there will be apple picking this season. Farmers here consider themselves lucky because many farms lost more than 90 percent of their crops this year.
Joe Michaloski, Green Acre Fruit Farmer, said, “We didn't get the hail that places west of here got and we didn't get the extreme colds that some of the places east of here got.”
But that doesn't mean the farm didn't suffer. They lost almost 60% of their crop and they are still struggling to keep their apples alive. They even have noticed a change in their product. These apples seem ripe and ready to eat, but they're not. The seeds are a tenth of the size it is supposed to be. Farmers say they're keeping a close eye on their crop so they can continue the apple picking tradition.
Michaloski said, “We really enjoy the you pick operation and just seeing our customers so we decided we'd open and get as much time out of it as we could.”
It may be slim pickings for the farm, but still it’s clear it won’t keep many families away.
Buscemi said, “It's still fun even though there's not many choices. There are still a lot of apples to be picked.”
The majority of the fruit farms have up to date information on their websites or via voicemail on whether or not they will allow picking.
Also because of the devastating season, the price for an apple has gone up. Last year, one apple would cost you about sixty cents, but this year, because of the devastating season, you will be paying an extra twenty cents an apple.