Tale of two harvests: Potatoes struggling, while apples flourish
It’s been a tough year for potato farmers in Alliston.
Potato farmer Mark Murphy says the crop flourishes in cold weather, which made this hot and dry summer a difficult one.
“They depend on cooler weather to size and mature, and this year we were a very warm summer, and combined with the lack of rain through July, really made it difficult on the crop this year.”
Some farmers say the yield is 20 per cent lower than usual, but there is a silver lining.
“Because it was a hot and dry summer we had less disease than we normally have."
Murphy says despite the low quantity, the quality is excellent.
It's a different story with apples. They are sweeter and there are more of them than ever this season.
“There are more this year because we had a lot of fruit set in the springtime, we didn't get hit by frost, some orchards did, and we've been blessed not to get hit by hail over the summer,” says Gaye Trombley, owner of Avalon Orchards.
Trombley says apples can handle dry weather.
They're also thriving with fewer bugs and disease, which is good news for those out apple picking.