Growers gear up for apple fest, say warm weather timely for harv - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Growers gear up for apple fest, say warm weather timely for harvest


The peaceful foggy mornings at the orchard are fleeting because in Bayfield, fall doesn't just mean harvest time.

For growers like Allen Rabideaux, it means time to prepare for the biggest harvest of the year. 

"Apple fest is the last, the last big hoorah for the city," Rabideaux said.

Rabideaux said he's been in every Apple fest since it started, and he typically sells out 80 percent of his stock, but of course you can't have apple fest without the apples, and he said it couldn't come at a better time.

"They're just getting into that phase of the apple trees," he said.

Farmers like Jim Hauser of Superior View Farms said to have a good crop you need hot days, cool nights and plenty of water.

"Brings out a lot of color in the apples, sweetens 'em up a little bit so it's all good. Turns those starches into sugar so we should be in perfect time."

And while our cooler temperatures mean a shorter growing season, Hauser said our conditions make the perfect climate for apples, like Cortlands.

"The lake has a delaying effect in the spring so when the apple trees do bloom we're kind of past the point of frost so in the fall we have kind of the opposite the lake is warm so it takes awhile for it to cool off so it keeps you from having a killing frost," he said.

So before that frost kicks in, the orchards are hoping to see those last few sunny days, those cool wet nights, and of course, well-stocked shops as they prepare for a Bayfield tradition.

Apple festival officially starts next Friday.

But for those who can't wait a week, there's a pre-kickoff event in Bayfield tomorrow night, including a pie and dessert contest.

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