Some farmers in Ontario do have an apple crop. Jim is on his way today to pick up some Ginger Gold apples, a delicious, sweet and crunch early apple from a farm in Simcoe County that escaped the major freeze in April that affected much of the apple, cherry, plum and peach crops in Ontario, New York state, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
We had the pleasure of touring Watson Farms in Bowmanville yesterday along with fellow members of Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association for our annual social. Paul and his family told us of the sleepless nights in late April spent burning hay and straw in their orchards to ward off the freeze. It worked and they managed to save the majority of their apple crop. They have a beautiful orchard and the trees we saw were loaded with apples. We snacked on a Ginger Gold apple right off the tree, mmm.. tasty.
Many growers were not as fortunate in saving their crop. The prevailing mood among the members was not of defeat but in determination to make the best of a bad situation. They are channeling their creativity into how to tell their story and present an exciting outing to their farms this fall. Check with your favorite pick your own apple orchard and find out what they're doing.
Farmers are a resilient group; not all news about the weather is bad. The province is so variable in it's weather patterns that not all farms have been devastated by drought or the late frost. Our pumpkin crop is looking fantastic and we are getting ready for the fall season. Our school tour program is booking up and our Harvest Festival will be happening each weekend in October.
Crops we are harvesting right now - tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and spanish onions.
We'll be supporting Ontario apple growers by selling only Ontario apples, even though some varieties might be missing. We ask for you to support Ontario farmers; look for and buy Ontario apples. Get outside, visit a farm this fall. Check out www.ontariofarmfresh.com We'll all be happy to see you.