ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — September has finally arrived which means the fall season is just around the corner and fall activities will soon be in full swing.
News 8 Meteorologist Christine Gregory spoke to Bill Wickham, the owner of Wickham Farms today to get the latest on how all of our fall harvest favorites are shaping up for the upcoming season.
The official start to autumn doesn’t begin for another few weeks, but local hot spots such as Wickham Farms are already a week into the apple picking season and excited for the rest of the fall activities to get underway.
“Yeah, so we love fall here, so we honestly prepare all year long for this time of year, love it when we roll over from summer to fall. We’ve been working, getting our apples put together and they’re starting to mature. We have thirteen different varieties coming on board that we pick now through Halloween, our pumpkins are turning,” Bill said.
Since apples are perennial crops, they don’t need to be replanted every year and are ready to be picked starting late summer through the fall. The varieties in this orchard are planted so they mature sequentially to guarantee fresh apples all season long.
Pumpkins on the other hand are sensitive annuals that take the entire summer to grow to be ready by September and early October.
“Some of our pumpkins we want ready now because, you know that’s what really signals fall, right? So we’re gonna bring them in, we grow them at a remote farm. They’re coming in this afternoon, so by this weekend, we’ll have lots and lots of pumpkins,” Bill said.
The recent rain may have been a little bit too late for some crops including their pumpkins, but because of their ability to irrigate, they’re in pretty good shape.
“You know my dad always used to say, you know, a dry year will scare you to death, but a wet year will starve you to death, and I agree with that. “You know, on a year like this, any rain you get is beneficial and we had, we were lucky we caught some beneficial showers here and there just enough to keep things going when we couldn’t keep up with irrigation, and so overall we’re pretty good,” Bill said.
Bill says it’s always a complicated year when it’s this dry, but not as complicated as if it were a super wet one.
Apples such as Zestars and premiere Honeycrisp are already being picked this week and they will also have some of their pumpkins ready to go as early as this weekend.