How’s apple season going this year?
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - Apple season is set for Labor Day weekend, but apple-picking season kicked off in Hendersonville a few weeks ago.
Henderson County leads the state in apple production. And it continues to rank in the top 10 producers in the nation.
Agriculture experts were predicting the drought would stifle apple farmers. Leslie Lancaster with Grandad’s Apples, in Hendersonvile, says otherwise.
“This is the biggest crop that we have ever seen. We’ve been farming for 28 years,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster says the orchard had to recover after 2021′s setbacks.
“We lost a crop last year,” said Lancaster, “I think we only had about 25 percent due to too-late freezes.”
And the weather has leveled off.
“In the beginning, we didn’t get a lot of rain, enough rain. Now, we’re getting too much rain,” Lancaster said.
When Grandad’s Apples announced their opening on Facebook, Hendersonville couldn’t wait to take their pick. Little Ashlynn grabbed a half-bushel all on her own.
“They have juice in them too. And they taste good,” said Ashlynn.
And her brother has big plans for his fruit: “Cut them up and put them in butter.”
Like many other farmers this year, that taste comes with a cost. Lancaster says inflation has caused their prices to go up a bit.
“Our prices have raised a dollar here and a dollar there, but we’re still trying to keep it as low as possible, but we are having to pass on some of the cost to the consumer,” said Lancaster.
Despite that, the apples of your eye are ready when you are.
Lancater says there’s no trick to picking the perfect apple. It doesn’t matter the color, shape, size, or the part of the tree you pick. It all boils down to the right time of season. And they taste test their product before selling it.
Support Grandad’s Apples and other local apple farmers at Hendersonville’s Apple Festival. It kicks off Sept. 2.
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