By Jacob Heller
Original link here
Posted September 19, 2019
LITTLE SIOUX, Iowa — Siouxland News first visited 6 years ago, in 2013, when the trees seemed like nothing but sticks in the ground.
But now, at Trapple Orchard near Little Sioux, Iowa, it's prime time for apple picking!
"I've eaten a lot of half-apples," said Trapple Orchard owner Tom Trapp, with a big, red apple in his hand and a smile on his face.
Tom has many varieties to choose from at his orchard, in serious production this year, for the first time.
"The Chieftain, that's the row that's right along the road here," said Tom, pointing out distinct varieties growing from the small, bushy trees. "This particular row is called Liberty Apple."
He has 40 varieties growing among the 500 trees on the orchard, most planted in 2011.
Some of the trees started producing fruit last year and Tom says he was able to harvest 30 or 40 bushels total.
"This year, 10 times that!" said Tom.
September is prime picking time!
"You'll probably be able to pick for a good 3 weeks or so," said Tom.
And among the apples, you'll find berries and pears, which are picked in the same way as the apples.
"You just lift and give them a little bit of a twist," said Tom. "And when you do that and the fruit comes off in your hand, that's when you know it's ready to be picked."
But, some of his trees haven't been so lucky.
The Honey Crisp in particular.
"The Japanese beetle was this year's challenge," said Tom.
He says he was able to pick a few Honey Crisp apples, but will try different things to save the trees next year.
"We'll see how we might be able to do that," said tom. "Maybe through some traps and some other ways of integrated pest management."
Until then, though, it's time for Tom to get pickin'!
"You've got more than a meal here!" said Tom, with a big, red apple in his hand and a smile on his face yet again!
Trapple Orchard is open for picking to members only.
If you want to find out how to become a member, please visit: trappleorchard.com.
If you know any farmers you'd like to see in the spotlight here on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: email@example.com.