GASPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – Apple picking at WNY orchards might be a little extra sweet this fall.
Mindy Vizcarra, who owns Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards along with her husband, says that this year’s apple crop is one of the best the farm has had in a few years.
“They’re a really nice size because we’ve had such good rain,” Vizcarra said.
Spring of 2019 was mostly cool and rainy, which delayed the growth of many of the apples at Becker Farms.
“They’re about a week to ten days late,” Vizcarra said.
The late-but-great apple season should be consistent across the state. Cornell University’s Susan Brown, a horticulture professor and the apple breeder responsible for SnapDragon and RubyFrost varieties, said in a statement that 2019 should be an excellent year for apple quality.
“While we had a very wet early season, which made control of early diseases difficult, that was followed by sun and heat,” Brown said. “These recent cold nights are perfect for enhancing both color and quality. Due to all of the early rainfall, apple size should be bigger this year.”
Apple-picking has started at Becker Farms, with MacIntosh, Cortland, and McCowan apples being picked now.
Red and Gold Delicious, Ida Red, Crispin, and SnapDragon and RubyFrost will follow next month, Vizcarra said.
SnapDragon and RubyFrost are newer varieties, a product of Cornell’s apple breeding program.
They provide the perfect balance of being “very hard, crunchy, juicy, and sweet-tart”, Vizcarra said.
Apple-picking is available every day at Becker Farms from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you don’t have the time to wander the orchards, you can pick up a bushel of farm-fresh apples at their Barn Store.
“There’s something about our weather, in Niagara County, Western New York, and New York- that makes the flavor of the apples just better than the south and the west,” Vizcarra said. “We have the warm sunny days that we’ve had recently and the cool nights- they’re great to make the color nice and the finish nice and the flavor just perfect.”