Organic apple producers Anick Joanisse and her husband Eric Léger of Hudson, Que., were worried sick when they saw Friday night’s weather warnings. When the heavy winds hit, they were bracing for the worst.
“We didn’t sleep very much on Friday night. Around midnight it was pretty intense, and all we kept thinking was ‘I hope the apples stay on the trees,'” said Joanisse. “They didn’t stay on the trees.”
The couple woke up Saturday morning to bare trees with thousands of apples scattered on the ground.
“A lot has fallen off, but we still have some at the top and midsections of the trees,” Joanisse told Global News. Still, it’s not nearly enough to allow apple pickers into the orchard. Le Verger de Hudson, the area’s only organic orchard, was forced to make the difficult decision to put a stop to its apple-picking season after just a few weeks.
“Normally, we go until the end of October so this is cut really short for us, but there’s no way around it,” Joanisse said.
The orchard’s most lucrative activity of the year may be ending early, but apples, cider and juice are still available on site. The fruits of the storm will head to the juicer later this week to make sure the hard work of Joanisse and Léger doesn’t go to waste.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and that’s exactly what Le Verger de Hudson is planning to do before their ton of fallen apples start rotting.