Rain has apples, blueberries flourishing - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rain has apples, blueberries flourishing

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PERU, N.Y. -

Jim Murray looks forward to students visiting his farm on class trips in the fall to show off his piles of pumpkins.

"We have red ones, white ones, big ones, little ones," Murray said. "We probably plant 13 or 14 varieties of pumpkins."

Murray owns Applejacks Orchard in Peru, N.Y., where apples and pumpkins are his specialty. But this year his popular patch of pumpkins struggled to get growing.

"Pumpkins like dry weather," Murray explained. "They like an adequate amount of moisture, but excess moisture doesn't do well."

Murray says the pumpkins were planted on lower ground, causing the seeds to be more prone to problems due to the rain.

"We intended to plant a little over 2 acres and I think we probably planted about 70 percent of that," Murray said. "Of that 70 percent we were able to plant, I'm guessing a third of it didn't germinate, or germinated and didn't come through. They're no longer there."

Murray says if the harvest is down this autumn, he plans to buy from other growers just in time for Halloween.

"They're coming along now, but they're behind schedule. But we'll see how they do in the next four, five, six weeks," he said.

And although pumpkins are struggling after excessive rainfall this year, Murray says not worry because apples are flourishing.

"They've done exceptionally well," Murray said. "They just relish the water. The apples themselves are larger this year."

And just 10 minutes down the road, Rulfs Orchard is also finding success thanks to the rainfall, but instead of apples-- blueberries.

Reporter Melissa Sheketoff: What was the good you guys got out of the rain?

Linda Facteau/Rulfs Orchard: We didn't have to water.

Farmers say the blueberries have grown to be almost the size of quarters and they credit a lot of the size and taste to all the rain.

"They love their water and they like their acidic soil," Facteau said. "Last year was the opposite of this year. Last year was dry; we worried about everything keeping the plants alive. This year they seem to be doing well right now. They're happy, tons of blueberries."

And while farmers worry about what the weather will bring for the rest of the year, they are hopeful crops will continue to sprout.

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