Apple harvest season starts early - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Apple harvest season starts early


Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

Apple lovers are rejoicing as the harvest comes a little early this year. The warmer than usual spring allowed the apple blossoms to bloom early, resulting in early pickings.

There's something about picking your own apples.

"So what you do with an apple is you take it and you tip it up. You just tip them like that, they pop right off and leave the stem on," explains Seekap Orchard owner Fred Kappauf.

And this year, apple lovers get to start early.

"And then to tell if an apple is rip, you pop it open and see how brown the seeds are."

"This year all apples are running 10 days, 7 to 10 days early. So we're in a week earlier than we normally are," says Vince Steffen, co-owner of Apple Ridge Orchard.

Already Apple Ridge Orchard in Mazeppa is open for business, taking kids on wagon rides to the apple trees. But these kids aren't wrapped up in jackets and scarves like they normally would be.

"You have to wear your suntan lotion this time of year to pick apples, because it is a little on the warmer side than it has been. But the apples keep as good, they taste great. It's just that you have to be ready to pick them a week early, " exclaims Steffen.

"Mmm... a little bit tart, but not bad."

Seekap Orchard is starting its first pick-your-own apple system this year as well.

"It began 10 years ago, I started planting apple trees for pick-your-own apples. Now they're up bearing age. Enough where we've got enough that I think we can open for pick-your-own apples," explains Kappauf.

But if you don't want to work for your treat, they'll still have plenty of pre-bagged apples for you. Pick-your-own apple prices range from about $1.49 a pound to $1.99. Apple Ridge is open from 9 to 6 daily, and Seekap Orchard will start its first ever pick-your-own apple around September 11th.

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