Saturday, September 3, 2011

After the storm

The first sight that greeted my eyes at Hutchins Farm (in Concord, Mass.) two days after Tropical Storm Irene were trees full of apples clustered like grapes.

I'd worried about the trees, and the apples, in the blow that we got.

Mac's Apples, in southern New Hampshire, had reported that "well-pruned trees heavy with fruit were very stable," but it was reassuring to see for myself.

To underscore the good news, a chalkboard at Hutchins made this cheerful report:

Made it through Irene with only minimal damage--hope everyone fared as well!

However, another sign posted a few days later noted that Irene had knocked most of the McIntosh crop off the trees.

Other growers I spoke to had good news similarly qualified. Nagog Hill Farm lost no trees (though I saw many windfalls).

Nicewicz lost a few but "it could have been worse," though the farm had not yet assessed the apples on the tree for damage (from knocking into each other).

Red Apple, in Philipston closest to the path of the storm's eye, gave a generally good report too.

(A reader also provides a link to this report about Irene's impact on greenmarkets in the Big Apple, though apples are not expressly mentioned.)

I think stoic must be part of a farmer's DNA, and these reports are hardly complete. But clearly, as they are saying, it could have been much worse.

In Irene's wake, trees and fruit at Hutchins Farm


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