This fall's apple crop promises to be plentiful


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This fall's apple crop promises to be plentiful

By Jesse Ritka. CREATED Sep 9, 2013

FRANKLIN - It may not feel like fall, but at Awe's Apple Orchard in Franklin, signs of the season are showing up by the bushel. “Everything is just bountiful this year, we are blessed,” owner Paula Awe tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka.

In the shade of the orchard trees, under a ginger golden sun, crisp apples can be found everywhere you turn.  “We just go out here and we just can't believe how many apples are on the trees,” Awe exclaims.

But when Ritka strolled down the orchard aisle a year ago, finding the perfect app, or any apple, was a difficult task.  "Last year was an absolutely devastating year, was probably within 100 years the worst crop throughout the total Midwest,” Awe explains.

A late blossom-nipping freeze and severe drought parched the ground, forcing Awe’s Apple Orchard and many others to send visitors away.  “We had everything fenced off because those apples were like gold last year.  We couldn't have anybody go into the orchard,” Paula says.

But the new year is bringing gala-worthy crop and pick-your-own apple harvesting has returned.  

Paula Awe demonstrated how to properly pick the apples, "If you hold onto the branch, and you just lift up, the apple will come off.” Four-year-old Nolan Marshall has his own technique, "Get one more. One more!"

A fun, family tradition returned for some, for others: a new lesson in life.  “It's nice so he learns how apples grow and that it doesn't just come from a grocery store,” Nolan’s mother Casey explains.  Happy she can share an apple or two with her family this year, "We had done apple picking in the past and he's really excited to help me make the apple pie and the apple sauce.”

Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka joined TODAY’S TMJ4 and Storm Team 4 in February 2011 as the “Live at Daybreak” weekend meteorologist. Growing up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, Jesse has always been fascinated by storms.