Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Small, Sweet Late Frost Took First Bite of Crops, but Oh, Those Apples Are Mighty Good!

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Small, Sweet Late Frost Took First Bite of Crops, but Oh, Those Apples Are Mighty Good!

Article excerpt

This year's apple crop in the Metro East area is something of a mixed blessing, growers say.

Between 20 and 40 percent of the potential apples were lost to a late frost in the spring. But the ones that developed are looking and tasting great.

"They taste much better than last year's apples. But some years we have a fuller crop than this," said Floyd Schlueter, owner of Schlueter's Orchards south of Belleville.

Lary Eckert, an owner of Eckert's four pick-your-own apple orchards in the area, estimated that 40 percent of the orchards' apples were lost to the spring frost. "It's not the greatest crop we've had, but the flavor of the fruit is excellent," he said.

Schlueter and Eckert credited the intensely hot summer with helping to flavor the apples. Schlueter said heat tends to break down starches in the apples into sugar, giving the apples a sweeter taste.

"The summer was miserable for us guys, but it did a fantastic job on the fruit," Schlueter said. "It should be a tremendous apple season."

Both Schlueter's and Eckert's orchards opened their pick-your-own operations this month. The apple season should continue into the first few weeks of October.

Late-season peaches still lured a majority of the pickers recently at Schlueter's. Like the apples, the peaches are particularly sweet this year because of the hot summer.

"This is the best peach spot I know," said Elaine Bibbs of north St. Louis County, who drove to Schlueter's with her friend and neighbor Essie Moore to get some of the last of the summer crop.

"I can't stop eating them, they're so good and so sweet," Bibbs said.

Herb Hoefler of Collinsville, who works in the orchards at Schlueter's, called the peaches small but delicious. He said he lost about 17 pounds this summer while working in the hot orchards, even though he often stopped to eat the fruit. He was seldom hungry by the time he got home in the evening, and therefore ate very small dinners all summer. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.