A very nice article was in the Daily Gleaner last week. My father, Chuck, and grandfather, Fred, are featured in the photo, while many other local apple growers had excellent comments. See below for a copy of the article!
Vincent Gilmore, owner of Johnny Appleseed Orchards in Keswick, said he started picking earlier this month and will have his U-pick open for the first time today.
“The apples are a good colour, good quality and good taste,” he said.
“(The U-pick) gets a lot of people who come year after year and make a family event of it and enjoy the afternoon.”
Right now, Gilmore’s picking Crimson Beauties, Jersey Macs and Paula Reds.
He will be picking Cortland, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples until mid-October.
He said the cool mornings and warm days in September help the late varieties ripen, making them taste better.
The orchard has 12 varieties of apples. Gilmore said the sunshine has made for a good season, but the recent lack of rain is an issue.
Wilf Hiscock, owner of Charlotte’s Family Orchard in Gagetown, agreed that this year’s growing conditions have been good, but the trees need rain to help the apples grow to a larger size.
Hiscock said ideal conditions for orchards are sunny days and cool nights.
“We need some cold nights to get some colour, but all in all the colour is pretty good,” he said.
This year’s early spring is what led to the advanced apple season, Hiscock said.
“Right now we’re picking Paula Red, Melba, Jersey Mac, Brunswicker and we’ll start Dudley right away, pears and plums,” said Hiscock.
“We’re pleased with the apple season. I think most growers are, everybody seems to be happy.”
Last year wasn’t as successful for local orchards.
“Last year we had a small crop in the Cortlands. They didn’t get pollinated. If you can’t get the bees out to pollinate, you can’t get a crop, but this year we got a wonderful crop of Cortlands.”
Hiscock said that Macintosh, Cortland and Honeycrisp apples are the most popular apples.
The Charlotte’s Family Orchard U-pick has already been open for a few weeks.
“We like people to taste what they have right next door. We have excellent crops,” said Hiscock. “What we’re really encouraging is for people to buy local.”
Originally published in section A8 on Saturday August 28, 2010 by Nicole Veerman, firstname.lastname@example.org