Dry Summer Weather Impacts Two Local Crops

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With apple picking season here, it was another busy day for Ron Hackett at his family orchard in South Hero.

He says while the weekend’s chill did reach sections of his orchard, it had no impact on his apples.In fact the apples can withstand a hard freeze.

“Because of the sugar content of the fruit. In the past years we have had extreme cold and I have seen the apples in the morning frozen solid on the trees,” Hackett said.

This summer’s lack of rain though, did affect his crop. You will notice apple’s will be a bit smaller than normal.

Hackett says he’ll harvest 25% less bushels this year, but don’t worry those Macintosh apples will taste just as sweat.

But the dry weather has been beneficial for Ben Durant’s vineyard just across town from Hackett’s Orchard.

“You get grapes that come in a little dehydrated in a way, and they are the richest fruit. The most dense and concentrated that you will get, and you get the best flavor out of dry grapes,” Durant said.

For now Durant is working with his crew to harvest his grapes before the first hard freeze of the season.

“We can lose the crop if the frost is too hard, it’s a huge factor especially in the spring and also anytime of year you get a frost,” Durant said.

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