Apple picking underway, some places are hit or miss

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:14 PM EDT
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SOUTH HERO, Vt. (WCAX) - After a spring freeze and a soggy summer, a lot of apple orchards in our region don’t have fruit on their trees. But some growers in South Hero have apples and they are asking people to come out and pick their own apples to help support the farm.

“This growing season has been like no other,” said Devin Hackett who owns Hackett’s Orchard.

Hackett’s Orchard counts itself lucky this fall, with many other farms not providing you-pick apples.

“We survived the frost back in May and we’ve had one of the best crops we’ve ever had,” Ron Hackett said.

Ron Hackett has worked on the farm for 55 years and it’s a family affair with his grandson Devin growing up on the farm.

Devin says he’s seen an above-average season for the number of apples on his farm.

“While we feel for the ones who don’t, we have plenty of apples here,” Devin Hackett said. “Not a lot of wet weather, so the trees weren’t terribly stressed. We did have some extreme heat but not enough to really affect much there. So-- warm, rain, sun-- that grows fruit.”

More apples means hopefully more to sell.

“This is not an easy business anyway,” Ron Hackett said. “And if you don’t have any apples, it changes the equation just a little bit, so we’re lucky we have the crop that we do.”

The Hackett Orchard is the family’s main source of income, so they say having a good yield year helps finance many fruitful years for many more families.

“I see adults my age that, I saw them when they were kids with their parents, now they have kids, and it’s quite the experience seeing how many generations come here to pick,” Devin Hackett said.

Growers suggest you come and pick the apples before early October as this type of apple might go bad.