How do you like them apples? Well for this season’s crop, local farmers are discovering that size does matter. Greg Davis has more:
Apple growers such as Paul Burnham are ready to harvest the fruits of their labour
Burnham: “For the next four weeks we will be busy taking the apples off…we have workers up from mexico. we aren’t picking today but will be starting tomorrow and working in earnest.”
Burnham says area farmers are welcoming a bountiful crop thanks to ideal pollination conditions in the spring and little frost.
But the hot, dry summer will limit the size of your favourite honeycrips, macintosh or honey golds.
Burnham: “As you can see the branches are heavily laden – we just hope we get some size in the next little be but they are pretty much where they are going to be.”
Rain and irrigation can impact the size of an apple. Burnham says most of his apples are 70 to 80 per cent their normal size from one of the hottest summers on record.
Burnham: “some of only half the size, some only 3 quarters – depending on the tree and depending on where in the field they are.”
The Ontario Apple Growers – which represents 200 commercial growers – says farmers are producing sweeter apples this season since the extra sunshine changes starch levels.
But Burnham says when it comes to market value, size does matter.
Burnham: “Size means if they’re too small, we have to ship them for juice or let them fall to the ground because we cant sell them because they’re too small. but as long as they get a certain size they’re good. ”
Most of Burnham’s crop are sold to local packing facilities or at his market where customers are ready to take a bite.
clip 1: galas, paulas and we are just waiting for the honeycrisp to really come in. they’re the best of the bunch and theyre all from Northumberland.
clip 2: I don’t need any today but my favourite is the honeycrisp
clip 3: Not yet – a little green for me – i like them sweet rather than tangy…. hubby likes macintosh, i like delicious.”
And you can find the apple of your eye at the annual Brighton Apple Fest starting this Thursday.
Greg Davis CHEX Newswatch near Cobourg