EFFORT, Pa. — In a matter of weeks, all the apples at Heckman Orchards near Effort will be picked.
Apple season is approaching fast, and owner Mark Heckman says they'll be ready.
"Everything looks pretty good. It's running on time. The frost and freeze didn't affect us a whole lot this spring. Some of the varieties don't hang quite as full as others, but the rest of them hang pretty fully," Heckman said.
More than 40 different varieties of apples are growing on the farm.
Heckman says while the weather hasn't been kind, the apples will still taste great.
"It is getting dry. You know, we could use some rain for sure. But the size seems to be OK for now, but I think if this drought continues, that will be the only thing that's affected," Heckman said.
Despite having little to no rain recently, Heckman says their peaches look great this year, and they're hoping the apples turn out the same.
"Your fruit trees are deep-rooted. The roots go down like four feet, so yeah, the top is really dry, but you know, there's moisture down deeper in the soil, which holds the moisture a little bit better. So far, they seem to be OK," Heckman said.
He'll start to worry if we don't get rain in the coming weeks because it could impact the crop for next year.
"What's going to start to happen is the trees are still lush green yet, but what's going to start to happen is there going to start to get under stress, and then sometimes the leaves start to fall off early," Heckman said. "It still doesn't affect the fruit that much, but what it's going to affect is the fruit for next year because they produce the fruit buds on the tree for the following year."
If everything goes well, apple picking starts at Heckman Orchards the first weekend in October.
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