Heavy rain in New Brunswick brought early apple-picking season

·2 min read
Get out your plaid shirts. Apple-picking season has come early this year. (Elizabeth Hostland - image credit)
Get out your plaid shirts. Apple-picking season has come early this year. (Elizabeth Hostland - image credit)

Not everyone's complaining about the wet weather this past summer.

Apple growers in New Brunswick say the season started about a week to 10 days early this year.

"The weather was good for growing apples," said Wilf Hiscock, owner of of Charlotte's Family Orchard in Gagetown for the past 37 years.

He grows 30 different varieties of apples and said this year's rain really helped the apples.

Apple picking has become a tradition for New Brunswickers every fall.

And this year is no different.

"It's been a very good fall so far," Hiscock said.

provided by Wilf Hiscock
provided by Wilf Hiscock

CBC meteorolgist Ryan Snodden described the summer as "certainly wetter than the past few" and warmer than average across the Maritimes.

Hiscock said the heavy rain came as a relief, especially after the dry summer farmers faced last year.

"We had the right amount of moisture, the right amount of heat," he said. "And now we're getting these cool nights that help make the apples redder and mature quicker."

A few favourites

Hiscock already has Paula red, Cortland, and ginger gold, which are his main variety of apples.

His honeycrisp apples will be ready in the next few days, a favourite for eating.

"We have a lot of of heirloom varieties," he said, mentionig Dudley winter and Alexander apples.

He also grows pears, plums and cherries, but they're not as prominent as his apple business.

Apples need water

David Coburn of Coburn Farms on Keswick Ridge, about 27 kilometres west of Fredericton, was also pleased by the rain this summer.

"Crops don't grow without moisture," he said.

The early season will allow more growing time and a faster harvest for the apples at the processing orchard.

"We've had a great growing season so far."

The family farm has four hectares of apple trees and 21 varieties of apples.

Coburn did say he had some frost damage to his Cortland and Spartan apples.

"We still have a decent crop," he said.

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