EFFORT, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It has been a tough past year for many local farmers in our region between heavy rain and frost back in May.
Waves of red and green fill the apple trees here at Heckman Orchards in Effort. With apple season in full swing, dozens are waiting to be freshly picked and eaten. But due to freezing temperatures back in May, that won’t be happening.
“We want our pick-your-own customers to be able to go in and find that perfect apple so that is not the experience they’d be able to have this year, so, unfortunately, we had to cancel it,” stated Amber Borger, assistant store manager at Heckman Orchards
This is the second time this year Heckman’s had to cancel a pick-your-own event after its strawberries were also impacted by the frost.
“It actually froze the inside of the apple where the seed cavity is, which caused certain ones of the apples to become deformed and not grow the proper way they’re supposed to. They’re flattened, you know they got stripes on them,” explained Mark Heckman, co-owner of Heckman Orchards.
The ones that were affected may not be perfect but are still being put to use.
“None of these apples are going to go to waste. Our employees are going to pick them, the nice ones are going to end up down at our store for you to purchase, and the imperfect ones are going to end up in apple cider,” said Borger.
The local farm is known for its fresh, sweet apple cider, drawing in thousands of people from across the country.
“We have people that will put it in coolers and take it back down to Florida with them,” stated Heckman.
Heckman says while it’s disappointing customers can’t come in and experience the orchard.. They are making the most of the fall season.
“It’s been a strange year this year. It started out cold, then it was dry for a while, then it was wet all summer long so some of that stuff hurt and some of that stuff helped. I hope it doesn’t start snowing any time soon,” explained Heckman.
Heckman Orchards’ fresh apple cider will be available through Christmas. The family farmers market is open every day from 9:00 a..m to 6:00 p.m.