Apple picking returns to Yellow Springs after hail damaged last years crop


Peifer Orchards in Yellow Springs is preparing for customers to return to apple trees Labor Day Weekend.

A late freeze in May destroyed many apple orchards this spring. Farm Manager Sam Burns said he doesn’t think the temperature made it to 25 degrees in Yellow Springs, at least not long enough to kill the apples at Piefer Orchards.

“These are ready to harvest so we’ll be doing that this weekend,” Burns said.

The farm will be open for u-pick again this year after they had to take last year off.

“We weren’t able to do it because of the Memorial Day Tornado. It put a bunch of hail damage to the trees,” Burns said.

Now the coronavirus pandemic brings additional challenges to the orchard.

“We’re going to direct traffic out here so we have one-way down the rows and then all transactions as far as u-pick goes will be outside,” Burns said.

A new booth was added to the farm entrance Allowing everyone participating in u-pick to pay outdoors limiting the crown inside the store.

Jonathan Apples will be ready to pick Labor Day Weekend. Other varieties will be added as they are ready. Pumpkins are still growing. Burns estimates they will be ready in two or three weeks.

“They had a hard time getting started with the June drought as well. We put irrigation on the pumpkins too which we don’t normally have to do,” Burns said. “Everything seemed to stop before Yellow Springs when the rain came through. We did have to water a lot, but it looks great out there.”

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