Popular York Co. orchard hopes for better season after storms, high heat last year

Popular York Co. orchard hopes for better season after storms, high heat last year

YORK, S.C. (WBTV) - Preparations and picking are getting a York County orchard ready for the apple season.

“That one is just starting to turn from fully green to red,” Windy Hill Orchard Owner Matthew Gusmer says, picking one off one of his trees.

Even though at this time last year, the crop looked just like it does now, heavy rains from Hurricane Florence did their number.

“And the heat just didn’t stop, it seemed like,” Gusmer says.

It was a bit of bruised apples and slim pickings in 2018. Now, Gusmer and his staff are hoping this year’s weather will cooperate, as pick-your-own season begins soon.

“I’m on my weather app, I’ve got about three of them,” he says, laughing. “We’re kind of weather geeks.”

It makes them leery, even the slightest hint of a nearby severe storm.

“Somebody asked me, ‘Well what could happen?’” he says. “A hail storm, we’ve seen that happen before. A hurricane, we’ve seen that happen before.”

But so far, a dry summer means sweet apples – a good year.

“You take the good ones with the bad ones,” Gusmer says. “You just hope you don’t have too many bad years in a row.”

The Windy Hill Orchard begins pick-your-own on September 6.

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