Contact: Erin Johnson
Phone: (800) 447-4094
Email: [email protected]
Despite the difficulties of an atypical Northern Wisconsin growing season, many of Bayfield’s apple orchards are poised to have a “great” crop of delicious fruit this fall. Jim Hauser Jr. of Hauser’s Superior View Farm explains how his apple harvest dodged the damaging weather. “Downstate, trees were in bloom when the frosts hit,” he said. “We were nervous, but our crop was not far enough along to have any damage from the frost. It’s one of the advantages of living by the Lake.” Overall, Hauser’s orchard will actually end up with a “bigger apple crop than last year.”
Other orchard owners agreed that their crops came through with shining colors – literally. “The apples are nice and large and getting a lot of color,” says Bill Ferraro of Apple Hill Orchard. Mary Jo Rabideaux of Rabideaux’s Bayfield Fruit Farm echoed this sentiment, “The early spring, warm summer, and enough rain at the right times has actually left us with big, beautiful apples.”
Visitors looking for their ritual fix of homemade Bayfield apple pies and hand-dipped caramel apples will not be disappointed. Hauser’s is already picking early varieties of apples such as Paula Red and Dudley, Apple Hill orchard will open with Cortland apples this weekend, and Blue Vista Farm will kick-off their apple season in a week with Red Free’s. The Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau compiles an “orchard update” twice a week throughout the harvest season, available for download on bayfield.org .
One common theme heard among Bayfield’s farmers is that apples will be about two weeks early this year. It’s a little known fact that the apple season is usually just gearing up about the time that Bayfield’s annual Apple Festival rolls around, always the first full weekend in October. This year many owners report their crops will “be in full swing” by the time the Festival comes around.
“Come out to our orchard and take a picture,” says Sharon Johnson of Sunset Valley orchard. “It’s gonna be a great crop.”
For more information about Bayfield’s apple orchards and the annual Bayfield Apple Festival go to bayfield.org .