Early Frost Giving Orchards Less Quantity but More Quality Apples

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In early May, the owner of Valley Orchard in Cherry Valley Raul Bergersen found his crop's worst nemesis: early frost.

"We had a little frost in the early part of the May so we don't have as large a crop as normal, but what we do have is better quality than we had in years," said Bergersen.

Despite the second worst frost in 27 years, Bergersen says while the orchard lost out on smaller apples, those that stayed on the branches turned into winners.

"Frost took some off, but the apples we have left are a lot larger," Bergersen said.

With the frost cutting down on apple picking options throughout northern Illinois, our local orchards are seeing more visitors from Chicago and Wisconsin hitting the branches and filling their wagons.

"I thought there would be some frost damage and maybe some of the rains that the apples wouldn't be quite as tasty but they are delicious, very good," Elissa Pollack said.

And though his trees weren't as stuffed with apples, Bergersen says the season's strange weather pattern still exceeded his expectations.

"There's nothing you can do about it. You are dealing with the weather and it’s wasted time to get upset," Bergersen said.