(KTXL) — Going to Apple Hill is a tradition for many families in the area, such as those in the Sacramento Valley, the Sierra and the foothills. But this year there’s a problem: a short supply of apples.
It’s the middle of apple-picking season in Apple Hill. And while the spring frost did affect some of the crops, the president of the Apple Hill Growers Association says there are still plenty of apples for visitors to enjoy.
“Every kid in this family knows how to make a pie, all my kids, all the grandkids,” Vicki Price, owner of Apple Pantry Farm, said.
In Apple Hill, the families grow as the apples do. Visitors go for that homegrown warmth and fresh pies.
“There has been frost before, but never like this April. This April got up to 80 degrees a couple of days, which means everything woke up. All the apple trees and the vines wake up for the grapes. Then it got down to the 20s. For us 20s is very rare,” Chris Delfino, president of the growers association, said.
Price says they lost 75% of their apples. Delfino says they lost about 35%. While some growers, he says may have lost everything.
“Now it depends on where you live. If you go to the part where Carson is, it’s warmer up there. As you go down it gets colder. But it also depends on what kind of trees you have,” Delfino said.
The apples at Apple Pantry Farm are actually from Barossti Juice Company just next door. Price said neighbors help each other all the time.
“We’re a very tight-knit group. We work together and love what we do. I think everybody wants the best for everyone because we want the best for the people that come here,” Price said.
Delfino agrees that this neighborly generosity is the Apple Hill way. And it’s why the majority of the apples they’ll have for visitors are local. Plus, the frost had an unexpected benefit.
“We have hedge trees. What that means is they’re seven feet apart and longer this way. So, you can only drive the tractor one way, but they protect each other like a hedge would. So, the middle ones weren’t affected at all. In fact, I found out they had a lot more water in them and tasted better,” Delfino said.
The Apple Hill Growers Association is made up of around 50 ranchers, and growers encourage people to go and try them all.