Penrose apple farm thrives despite weather setbacks

Digital Now

PENROSE — Despite a lack in their own crops, families keep flocking to Happy Apple Farm in Penrose.

“We found out about this place in 2016 when my son was about eight months old. And we’ve been coming every year ever since,” said Kandy Dunkley, who brought her two children to the farm.

Happy Apple Farm owner, Tony Ferrara, says a late freeze in April destroyed nearly 80-percent of their crops.

“What made it was then hammered by a hail storm, so we were pretty much wiped out. And then we had a drought this year, so on the weather end of it, absolutely terrible year,” Ferrara said 

While families didn’t expect much, they still kept annual fall traditions alive. 

“They were walking through the orchard when we had no apples, they didn’t care. They told me we don’t care, Tony, we just want to get out,” Ferrara said.

“We were expecting to have to go to the store after this, but we found plenty of pumpkins to take home,” said Tami Goldstedt, who was at the farm with her three kids.

“And I love to come and take the pictures of how tall they’ve grown. I have pictures of every year they’ve been here and how tall they are against the pumpkins,” Dunkley said. 

Ferrara says they’ve been getting in shipments of apples and pumpkins out of Pueblo. 

“I don’t know if you see the bins in front of Walmart, but we’re going through about 22 every two days. That’s a lot of pumpkins, I’ve never seen anything like it, anything,” Ferrara said. 

And every weekend has been busy. 

“The silver lining with COVID, people wanting to get out, we’re an outdoor event, we’ve got plenty of acreage, we can do the social distancing. So, we have that in our back pocket and people, we’re just getting inundated, I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s just absolutely insane. We’re seeing third-generation and it’s such a family tradition that you hear it all day long, ‘thank you so much for being open,’ Because they are a lot of places that are closed,” Ferrara said. 

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