Good weather makes great year for apples

GREENFIELD, Ind. - Indiana apple orchards are reporting a much-needed boom year after weather all but wiped out last year's crop.

Hoosier orchard owners like Mike Roney say they're not just getting a bigger harvest, but one that tastes better too.

"The quality of the fruit is exceptional really this year in Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan [apples]," said Roney, one of the owners of Tuttle Orchards in Greenfield.

The increased foot traffic in his orchard is a welcome sight as well, Roney said.

"[Last year] was by far the worst year ever," he said.

Roney said just two days of frost last spring took out 90 percent of his crop. And the historic summer drought didn't help matters.

Last year's weather was so bad, Roney said Tuttle Orchards was forced to close public picking.

"It was bad for farms everywhere, not just for orchards, but for farmers," he said. "Our parents are dairy farmers and it was a really hard time for everybody."

Last year, Roney said the farm lost a third of its income and had to import apples in from out of state.

"We had to buy apples in last year all the way from Washington State," he said. "Our Jonathans came from Colorado. We got honey crisp from Nebraska … so it was just a crazy situation."

Tuttle Orchard, located at 5717 N. 300 West in Greenfield, is open for public picking from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon.-Wed. and 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thurs. – Sun.

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