Williston, VT – A number of Vermont apple orchards are putting apple picking on hold this year after an unseasonable May freeze damaged their crop.
Temperatures in the twenties froze 30% of Vermont’s orchards.
Jon Adams, the owner of Adam’s Apple Orchard in Williston said he lost 95% of his apple crop this year. The orchard is canceling apple picking for this year.
Adams says he has only experienced this one time in his four-plus decades. He and his team have been looking for other revenue sources. Adams said, “we’ve been hauling peaches all year for our store, we’ve sold 25,000 pounds of peaches in 10 weeks.”
At Chapin’s Apple orchard in Essex, owners Phil Murdock and his wife Helen are experiencing a similar issue. He says, “we went through all the stages of disappointment you can go through. Even to the point we weren’t sure we were going to be able to open.” The Murdocks have owned the property since 2001.
Both orchards say they have some healthy apples, but have decided to outsource many and plan to have them in bags in and outside their stores. They’re also looking to focus on other fall attractions.
Due to a federal disaster declaration, the orchards are eligible for low-interest loans but it’s not clear if that’s something they want to explore.
They do not believe tree health was not affected by the frost, meaning a healthy crop is likely to come next year if the weather cooperates.