Fall is, of course, the busiest time on an apple farm. While there's work to be done year-round, including dormant pruning in the winter, planting in the spring, and maintenance in the summer, nothing pushes us as farmers quite as hard as getting fruit off the trees in a timely manner.
We grow about 5,000,000 (yes, 5 MILLION) pounds of apples every year, and ALL of them have to be picked in the span of about 10 weeks beginning in the middle of August and finishing right around Halloween. It takes our entire field crew, plus about 10 additional seasonal workers to harvest everything on time. Most of these apples will be put into long-term storage to be packaged and shipped to grocery stores throughout the winter and into the spring.
Of course, along with our own picking, we host our very popular U-Pick operation every weekend. This takes a large team to organize and execute. When you add it all up, our workforce swells to more than 50 employees for September and October! And if your last name is Dressel, you know you'll be working 7 days a week until well into November.
It's a crazy hectic time, and there's definitely days that test our resolve and make us question why we put ourselves through all this. But when the crop is in, the coolers are full, and we finally get a minute to look out over the orchard full of empty trees and beautiful orange leaves, we realize we wouldn't trade it for anything. We hope you'll come share that feeling with us.
Happy Fall, everyone!