It's a fall tradition for many families here in our area, going apple picking, but are there any apples to even pick after what happened last year?
Well, what a difference a year makes! Last year most of the trees at Helene's Hilltop Orchard near Merrill had just one apple on them, but this year, the trees are full of apples ready to be picked.
"It's a wonderful year and we've been really humbled from last year and realized that you don't want to count your chickens before they hatch," said Dave Pagoria with Helene's Hilltop Orchard.
Being a farmer isn't easy no matter where you live. But here in Wisconsin, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate for them. Apple Produce Dave Pagoria knows that. He said, "We're from the North, so you hold up, and you prepare for the worst and when that happens you just say let's move on."
2012 was a rough year for him. He says in February it got warm out and then, the regular cold weather moved in. It took out the buds on his trees and almost all his apple crop was destroyed. Fortunately, this year things have turned around. Pagoria said, "We had a long Spring, stayed cool, so that helped us out and slowed down the trees so that when they blossomed out, we had a little touch and go in the Spring but they turned out really good."
The trees are full of delicious apples ready for you to pick and Dave is thrilled about it. He said, "It's just a wonderful crop and good quality. Just the right amount, you know, so we should have decent size and the crisp autumn air came on cue so it's a wonderful time to pick apples."
Proof that being a farmer in Wisconsin might just be having a little patience, especially with Mother Nature. Dave said, "I'm thankful for whatever she gives, that's really what comes out of it."
Helene's Hilltop Orchard is set to open up tomorrow.
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