CAMINO (CBS13) – Labor Day officially kicks off the fall season for the growers at Apple Hill. Some people wondered if this year’s apple crop is feeling the effects of the fires.
“Will probably get 1,500 maybe 2,000 today,” said Jerry Vizman, who runs High Hill.
Two-thousand visitors headed to High Hill Ranch, which is one of a number of Apple Hill growers ramping up its busy season this labor day weekend.
Many of the visitors are families often bringing any number of generations, turning this weekend into a tradition.
“Every year!” said a visitor.
Jerry Vizman runs the property now but his dad started the ranch in the 1960’s and still runs the forklift and drives around in a golf cart, greeting customers
“They’ve been saying ‘hi’ to my dad for 40 years,” said Vizman.
Many customers come from miles away to sample the apples and apple treats. Jane Lord is a former California resident who came all the way from Virginia.
“Every time I get a chance to come, I come here,” she said.
With ash from the Carr Fire blanketing the Sacramento region, there was concern the apple crop might be affected. Vizman says growers were fortunate not to see any impact but he did employ a technique used in winter to keep the apples clean.
“We got these overhead sprinklers. They serve as frost protection but every two weeks we turn it on. It rinses all the dust and everything off the apples,” he said.
With good conditions, growers agree their crop is strong this year
“A little later than last year…who knows why but it’s good we’re picking in mid-September. That’s when crowds come, that’s when you get a really good, fresh apple,” said.
A fresh apple, carmel apple, hand made apple pie, or the famous apple fritter.
Thanks to an abundance of apples this season, growers say they were able to open a couple of weeks in advance. The season usually runs through Christmas.