Despite tough weather, apple harvest exceeds previous years

Apple season success

Despite tougher weather than usual, this year's apple harvest has been remarkably successful throughout the Okanagan.

BC Tree Fruits chief executive officer Warren Sarafinchan says the weather has made it difficult for growers, who put in extra effort to keep their crops good. 

"The big challenge this year, and I’ve heard it’s actually a very unique challenge this year, is that I think we all recognize the weather has not really been in our favour.

"This year we’ve seen lots of rain, lots of days that weren’t sunny, lots of really cold days and that’s created a lot of pressure on our growers and our packing houses and everyone here at Tree Fruits as well as throughout the Valley, so everyone’s worked really hard to get that crop off and I think we’ve been very successful."

This year's apple harvest has also proven successful for family-run Twin Oaks Organic Orchard, whose season started in late September.

Office co-ordinator Elisabeth Hammann says they initially had problems with other fruit due to the frost, but this year's apple harvest turned out to be an improvement on previous years.

The Hammann family has owned the orchard for more than 100 years, spanning four generations, and produce a wide variety of apple types including Macintosh and Spartans. 

According to Hammann, a good quality apple is one that doesn't look perfect.

"You can tell a good apple when they do not all look the same - when you have bigger ones and smaller ones and bumpier ones - because then you know they are the most natural, and the most natural is the best quality apple. Surprisingly, perfection usually means it’s not the best quality. 

"A huge part of being organic is that we like to work synergistically with nature so we like to keep the hornets, wasps and ants around because they actually help to keep the other insects at bay that could harm the fruit."

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