New Hampshire growers asked: How do you like them apples?
Apple growers in the state say the heavy rains of the past several days may have made a sub-par fall apple crop much better. Apples will definitely be ready early, and they will be gone early, growers say.
“We're picking varieties right now that normally we aren't able to pick for a few weeks,” said Wayne Elwood of Elwood Orchards in Londonderry.
The Duane Family Farm in Barnstead has Paula Red apples ready for picking and selling.
“If I had one message to give to people, it would be to get out and pick early because this year, by Columbus Day weekend, they may all be gone,” Rick Duane said.
“Everything bloomed early in the spring, everything was ahead of time, and then things got dry, so we didn't know what kind of crop we would get,” Duane said. “But we've had three to four inches of rain since last week, which was perfect timing. It's helping them get more size and weight.”
“A month ago, I didn't know what we were getting and I wasn't too optimistic,” said Steve Surowiec of Surowiec Farm in Sanbornton. “But the rain we've just had is going to help size them up. We're actually in better shape than I thought we'd be.”
The Surowiecs and apple farmers in central and northern parts of the state say their apples will be ready to pick in about 10 days — about two weeks earlier than normal.
Shelves at Londonderry's Sunnycrest Orchards farm store were filled with pecks and half-pecks of early apple varieties Jonahgolds and Paula Reds Monday.
Across town at Mack's Apples Farm Store alongside Moose Hill Orchards, sales have been ripe for the picking since the farm store opened for the season last Wednesday. Those wishing to pick their own fruits will have to wait somewhat longer — the farm's U-Pick stations will open this coming Wednesday.
New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent April Guilmet contributed to this story.
Dining & Food
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