Harvest Looks Good!

By August 20, 2013Pleasant Valley Orchard
MN Apple Orchard Blog

The question on everyone’s mind here at Pleasant Valley Orchard is, “When will the apples be ready?”  Our weather station compiles Growing Degree Days, a measure of heat units useful for tracking fruit development in addition to insect and disease life cycles.  We are quite a few GDD’s behind last year but last year we had an extraordinarily early harvest.  This year it looks like we are only a little behind normal ripening.  Apples are starting to get larger and to color up in response to the cool nights we have been having.
By the time we open on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we should have a nice supply of several of our early season apple varieties ready to eat fresh out of hand, smothered in caramel or baked into our flavorful pies and turnovers.  What gives me this confidence?  The harvest has already commenced with our first picking of Summercrisp pears.  These crisp, sweet pears are the first fall fruit we pick.  State Fair, Redfree, Zestar!, Esteval and Wealthy apples should follow shortly.  Honeycrisp will be ripening in late September this year.
For me, I always look forward to the first pick.  While confronted with the reality of 85 degrees and a few mosquitoes I can dream of cooler days and bringing in what looks to be a very nice crop. The barely audible snap of long limber pear stems as the trees release their bounty and the heft of bushel crates lifted into the cooler is a reminder that the fall harvest is indeed upon us.  Hope to see you soon to share the bounty!