Apple season begins in Wisconsin

Posted Monday, September 1, 2014 --- 9:00 p.m.

Labor Day weekend signals the beginning of apple season for many Wisconsin apple farms.

At Door Creek Orchard in Cottage Grove, owner Tom Griffith expects a good season.

"We've got a pretty good crop on most varieties, I'd say average to above average," he said.

However, his crop is feeling the effects from last year's harsh winter. He estimates he lost about five percent due to the cold temperatures.

"We've had either complete tree loss where trees have completely died or partial tree loss where they're losing limbs," he said.

Griffith called the winter damage "surprising," and said he hasn't seen that kind of damage since the late 1980's.

Overall though, he said his crop is good, just not as big as he'd like.

For customer Craig Anderson and his wife, the start of apple season is an exciting time of the year. The couple have been coming to Door Creek Orchard for more than 25 years, and often come every weekend during the season.

"It's just a great selection and it seems like they've got the earliest apples we can come out and pick," Anderson said.

At 6"7' tall, Anderson jokes he has a natural advantage when it comes to picking the apples.

"We don't spend a lot of time [picking] because I can reach the high ones, so we don't have to walk down the road very much further," he said.

According to the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, most farms are now open, and most farmers reported average or above average crops.

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