Drought Is Better Than You Think for SouthCoast Apple Season
We've all heard a lot about this summer's serious drought and all the things it is affecting. From super-low water levels in area lakes and ponds to reduced usage of town water, the drought has certainly taken its toll locally.
Just last week we learned that our usually gorgeous fall foliage could be dulled by the drought. Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts are currently experiencing extreme drought conditions and that lack of water could mean a lack of color later in the year.
A total bummer for leaf peepers for sure, but does this drought mean all our fall fun is going out the window?
Seems the short answer to that question is no.
While the drought is a rough one and many plants and bodies of water are drying out all across our area, the local orchards are not affected here in the dog days of summer.
We spoke to several local orchards and a few in more northern parts of Massachusetts to see how they were fairing with the lack of rain. What we learned was actually awesome news.
Most area farmers have plans for when the rains don't come.
At Jaswell's Farm in Smithfield, Rhode Island, they say, "our watering system means drought doesn't affect the season too much" adding "the crops look incredible."
Over at Barden Orchard in North Scituate we were told "drought got to a few honeycrisps, they'll possibly be low, but drought's not affecting things too much and we'll have a normal apple picking season."
Same goes for Northern Massachusetts as well. Valerie Rosenberg at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury told us, "We should see a beautiful fall season ahead."
Cider Hill is where the country's best apple picking happens according to Yelp reviews and they are on track for another great season. Rosenberg told us they have "a solar-powered subsurface drip irrigation system" that "waters the roots of all crops including our 10,000 fruit trees."
So, apple pickers rejoice, your season isn't demolished by drought. Quite the opposite, actually. Braley Orchards in Acushnet commented on their Facebook page recently that "real rain seems to make the fruit bigger, but lack of it seems to make it sweeter."
Expect some sweet local fruit as apple picking season kicks into gear in the coming weeks. Most orchards are open from Labor Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend, so even later if you're lucky.
Keep scrolling to find all PYO apples across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.