TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) —Wea Creek Orchard is celebrating a successful fruit crop this year.
Owner Perry Kirkham says it’s been a fantastic season so far and all of the apples are flavorful this year.
“I don't have to worry about having any particular variety that I'm kind of not, I don't want to say ashamed of, but not wanting to sell,” said Kirkham. “I've had honey crisp some years where they were so bad I wouldn't sell them, just because they were water logged or whatever.”
Kirkham said he’s extremely pleased with how every variety of apple turned out this year.
“The peaches are as good of quality as they’ve ever been and the apples are tremendous,” said Kirkham. “I’m not usually a huge gala fan for instance, but they are fantastic this year.”
Kirkham says he believes there are a few reasons why the fruit crop was tremendous this year and extremely flavorful.
"Part of that is because last year a lot of them didn't have fruit so there's what's called ‘Biennial Bearing’ where the trees are kind of making up for it this year,” said Kirkham. “The other part of it I think is because of the drought, it kind of kept the size of the apples and peaches fairly small."
Kirkham said the peaches were in great shape but they were roughly half the size they usually are.
“Our apples weren’t as impacted by that,” said Kirkham. “The really good thing about the drought is that the flavor is just so intense.”
Every year fruit trees have to be thinned before the season to accommodate room for the fruit to grow. Kirkham says he thinned the trees, but he had no idea the crop would be so abundant.
“So we thinned, but apparently we didn't thin well enough,” said Kirkham, “We should’ve thinned more. I’ve heard from some friends they thinned three or four times and they’re still having too much fruit.”
Kirkham said he lost two fruit trees last week due to the weight of the fruit pulling it down.
Wea Creek Orchard finished selling peaches for the season last weekend. However, Kirkham says there’s plenty of apples and pumpkins left.
“People coming out to pick will enjoy themselves and as always we do free wagon rides around the property to show them the beauty of the place,” said Kirkham. “The wild flowers are pretty good this year, the creek is looking good and so are the bees.”
Wea Creek Orchard is open 10 a.m. -6:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and on Sunday from Noon to 6:00 p.m.