Dry conditions create more flavorful apples this fall

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - It’s hard to believe that it’s fall after a day like Wednesday.

However, the Tri-State area is now days into the official season for favorite pastimes such as picking out pumpkins or visiting local apple orchards.

Lack of rain and extreme heat in recent weeks have only worsened dry conditions in our area.

But that won’t dampen--or in this case, dry out--your chances of fun at the pumpkin patch or apple orchard.

Lauren Kies, 12, of Quincy has been going to the pumpkin patch ever since she was a small child.

“My favorite part is picking out my pumpkin,” Kies said.

Visiting an apple orchard this time of year only adds to the fun.

“I love the apple cider,” Kies said.

Retired crop specialist Mike Roegge said apple lovers will be extremely pleased this fall.

“The taste of apples will be superb this fall.” Roegge said. “When we get a wet fall, the apples trees absorb a lot of moisture. That kind of weakens the taste of the apples but you get full flavor of apples when you have a really dry fall.”

Roegge has been growing pumpkins at Mill Creek Farm since 1991, but this year was a first.

“We’ve never experienced a year like this,” he said. “We had to put irrigation on our pumpkins just to get them to germinate. The soil was so dry that there wasn’t enough moisture.”

The irrigation system did not disappoint.

Roegge wants to remind everyone about another danger from dry conditions – an increased risk of fire.

He said dust, dry conditions and extreme heat can be the perfect recipe for field fires.

Roegge said he hasn’t experienced a major drought such as this one since 2012.

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