Hello everyone. I have some unfortunate news to report. Our apple crop will be small this year. We initially believed early varieties were less affected but now that we've started to pick it’s evident most varieties will be low.
Why did this happen?
Honestly - no one knows. Reports from orchards all over Wisconsin and Michigan show similar situations. The cold May wasn’t a factor, as there wasn’t much of a blossom in the first place. One theory is not enough January days in a row below 32 degrees. Another theory is March was too warm and affect the blossom situation somehow. All we know is the trees made leaves this year instead of blossoms.
We don't think this is bee-related. For several years our orchard has been the location of a bee study by the UW, and the bee population here is often one of the highest.
Could it be drought?
We have an irrigation well and we make sure to water as needed. It’s not that.
So how will this affect our customer?
Apples on the shelves will sell fast and won't last as long. Even varieties with prosperous crops will sell more quickly. I want to be very transparent about volume: if you see me post about a variety you want - don't delay.
We also will be pressing less apple cider this year. With the smaller crop, there are fewer “seconds” for processing. Again - when we make cider, stop in to stock up immediately.
Caramel apples will be more of a mystery this season! This year we're going to choose apples for dipping that are the right size and will work well with the caramel. That means we may be mixing varieties of to accommodate the demand. We feel this is a much better solution than to discontinue caramel apples!
We will not be limiting the quantity of apples you purchase. But many varieties will not have discounted volume pricing. We know already MacIntosh and Cortland will have no discount on bushel purchases. If you’re planning to process, I'd recommend giving the Paulared a try this year. We currently have them in the shop and if you call ahead to order 608-635-4780 you will save an addition $3/bushel.