Apple Acres orchard suffers bad crop but is still open to the public
If you’re a fan of apples, mark your calendars for this time next year. Apple Acres orchard, about 10 miles northwest of Kearney, Neb., is hoping for a bumper crop in 2012 to make up for this year’s poor yield.
Out of about 400 apple trees, only five or six bloomed this year, which means less business for Beverly and Keith Nuttleman, owners and operators of Apple Acres. Normally, they would have a steady flow of customers at their orchard and would be attending the Kearney Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays but because of the mysteriously bad harvest they were unable to this year.
Though they are disappointed by this year’s harvest, the Nuttleman’s are hopeful for next year. “This year the trees decided to rest,” Beverly said.
However, that doesn’t mean that Apple Acres hasn’t been allowing visitors to the orchard. They’re still giving tours to local schools and allowing visitors to meander through the trees. While customers are not really allowed to pick the fruit, they may buy bags or bushels of apples, but are encouraged to call ahead of time. Apples can be bought by five pound bag, half a bushel or a full bushel (40 pounds). Bushels are often bought by customers seeking to make a lot of candy or pie. In past years, they have also sold apple cider and honey.
Starting at the end of August through October, Apple Acres welcomes guests and customers Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. With regards to next year’s crop, Beverly says that “September 1 is a good time to start thinking apples.”
The Nuttleman’s aren’t afraid that they will lose their customers within the next year. They say they always have people interested and have a firm customer base that will help when the trees return to their normal blooming state.
When they bought the orchard it contained around 1200 trees but the Nuttleman’s scaled it down to about 400. Two years ago they planted 200 more trees. Apple varieties range from red delicious to gala to york and many more in between.
Apple Acres orchard is located at 7460 West 100 Street in Kearney, Colo. They can be contacted by phone at (308) 893-2845 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on their website at http://www.AppleAcresOrchard.com.