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Rainy summer helped most crops as pumpkin and apple picking season begins

The apples at Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm Market are a good size this year thanks to heavy rainfall late this summer.

YORKANA, Pa. — Pumpkin patches and apple orchards are opening up for the season and getting ready for people to come out and pick.

Julie Keene, Market manager at Flinchbaugh’s Orchard and Farm Market, says that this is the perfect time of year to come out to the orchard.

“September’s the best season because we converge two seasons; summer and fall," she says. "So we still have peach slushies and we still have pumpkins and apples and the blending is just perfect." 

At Flinchbaugh's, the pumpkin patch is open and ready to go, while apple picking officially opens up this weekend. There is also a market, corn maze, and other activities for visitors to enjoy.

Keene tells Fox43 that the rainy summer has not caused too many problems for their crop. In fact, the pumpkins sit on a straw bed to help prevent rot. 

“So they’re not growing directly on the wet, moist ground so that puts them a little bit above it so fortunately we haven’t seen issues of rot in the field yet.”

The pumpkins themselves did not grow any differently because of the wet summer, however the rain has helped clean them off so they are not as dirty as normal.

People have been slow to come out to pick pumpkins, partly due to the warm weather, however now is a great time to pick them! Keene says that pumpkins, if kept dry, will keep for about 8 weeks, so anything you pick will last through Halloween.

A quick ride over to the apple orchard, and you will see beautiful apples ready to pick that the rainy summer actually helped grow bigger. 

“We got that rain and they have just swelled up. So yes, rain is not always necessarily a bad thing," Keene tells Fox43. "Of course, you do have to make sure you are caring and monitoring your fields to make sure you are keeping rot out but we are trying to stay on top of that as it comes.”

The orchard did have two apple varieties that ripened as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through, which did cause a little bit of rot. Thankfully, Keene says the damage was minimal. 

Each weekend in the fall the farm and orchard typically sees a few thousand people. Keene is excited to have people back out to the farm and getting the perfect fruit.