Now's the time to pick your apples, pumpkins
Updated On: Sep 06 2012 07:13:30 AM CDT
It's still warm enough to hit the beach, but if you pick apples or pumpkins this fall, you might want to go soon. Thanks to an unusually warm year, the season is starting a lot earlier.
Josh Grim is a busy man this week. It's harvest time here at Grim's Greenhouse in Lehigh County.
"They're light green when they start growing, and then as they get larger, they're a darker green," he said.
But if it seems like it's a little early for all this, you're right.
"Everything seems to be running about two, two-and-a-half weeks earlier than normal," said Grim.
Thank -- or blame, depending on your viewpoint -- hotter weather most of this year.
"Even though it was hot, many of the crops -- especially the fall crops -- came off very well," said John Berry with Penn State Extension's Lehigh Valley office.
Apples are in early too. According to Grim, Honey Crisps, Buckeye Galas, and Fujis will all peak this weekend. That means, get out there early for the best picking.
"If we wait too close, to let's say, Halloween or a Thanksgiving holiday, there might not be the supply we were expecting," said Berry.
Although the apple crop here is good, not everywhere has been so lucky. That means, you could be paying more for apples and apple juice this fall -- especially at the grocery store.
Drought and a late-spring freeze took a bite out of the nation's three biggest apple-producing states: Washington, Wisconsin, and New York. Grim said that could lead to price spikes as farms like his make up the difference.
"A few years ago, juice apples would run around four or five cents a pound," he said. "This year, they're anywhere from 27 to 30 cents a pound, so they're 700 percent higher, or seven times more costly for juice apples."
Grim's Greenhouse opens this Saturday, and will remain open through early November.
For a list of all area farm markets, click here.
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