Summer drought impacts fruit crops

By: Anna Carrera Email
By: Anna Carrera Email

This summer's drought has made an impact on many area crops, adding unexpected flavors to the early harvest.

The Kinzie family is going home with a trunk full of apples from the Tree-mendous Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, Michigan. Even though the Kinzies are happy with their fresh fruit, it isn't exactly what they had in mind.

"We came to pick peaches and we ended up picking apples," said Jeanine Kinzie. "It really worked out great but we thought we were at the tail end of peach season and it's over."

Farmers blame the early frost and this summer's drought for stunting the growth of their precious produce. They call the smaller peaches -- "button peaches." They are about a quarter of the size of a healthy fruit.

"If you were a little bud on the peach tree and you got slapped too many times, you'd say, to heck with it. I'll wait for next year," said Herb Teichman, who owns the Tree-mendous Fruit Farm.

Teichman said the pint-sized peaches pack a flavorful punch and are even tastier than the traditional types.

The peach season will be wrapping up this weekend. And if you want apples, many of them are already ready. Like many fruits this summer, apples will be ready three or four weeks earlier than usual.

If you look closely at the plants, Teichman said you can see damage that could affect next year's crop. But that won't stop families from frequenting farms to get a taste of the freshest fruit Michiana has to offer.

"They said try it, eat it. If it's sweet, take it and if it's not ready, no problem," said Kinzie.


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