The mornings are getting darker, days are ending earlier, and the trees are becoming barer. These are all good signs that apple harvest season is about at an end. No, I can’t say I am really happy about that–though it will mean a little more sleep and not so much paperwork. Apple Harvest is a truly extraordinary time in life, what with the changing colors, ripening apples, brisk mornings, and overwhelming smells.
I’ve often said that next year’s crop begins the day after the last apple from this year’s crop is picked and in the bin. We’re quickly approaching that point in time. Nearly seven months ago–before I arrived at Red Jacket–an astute crew of folks set out to get things started right. There was pruning, fertilizing, and general things we do to get the orchards kicked off. Throughout the spring and summer, we’ve tended the pollination, pest management, fertility, and now harvest of 600 acres of fruit. By Halloween, we should have this one in the history books.
Farmers, generally speaking, have one year, each year, to get it right. There is little margin for error because there is little control over things like the weather. As luck would have it, this year was stellar. As we head down the home-stretch, and while looking back over a very successful season, we cross our fingers and hope for a few more weeks of decent weather. This one will be in the history books very soon. But for now, we have a few more apples pick before we can start relaxing and really thinking about next year.