PENROSE, Colo.- The fall season is in full swing at Third Street Apples in Penrose, but you may notice a change when you make your next visit.
The farm is mostly known for its apple-picking, has had to change that this year because of the lack of apples. Turning now to pumpkin-picking for visitors during the season.
“We always have some apples this was very unusual this year to have zero apples,” Lance Tyler, owner of Third Street Apples said. “The apple crop got hit by a frost in late April when the apples were blooming and it’s a once a year chance for growing fruit.”
Since their first apple stand in 1997, Gail and Lance Tyler said their apple crop has declined each year. Contributing to the unpredictable weather and lack of water.
“It has been drier most years since we bought this place.. the trees take two or three years to recover from being that dry the hair roots die and the tree is still alive but it takes a long time to regenerate,” Tyler said.
They’ve had to make changes over the years with planting and irrigation. Tyler said in the years crop is low, they outsource their apples for selling from the west slope of Colorado.
“Because it’s so dry here, we plant trees that have a big root system so they are a little slower growing than the real dwarf trees and it takes them about four or five years to start having apples and so it’s kind of a long wait,” Tyler said.
With no apples, apple-picking has become limited for visitors, causing them to make a change.
“The trees bloom, and if it gets too cold, then that’s it for that year, so we had to switch to something else–pumpkins,” Tyler said.
Tyler said the farm has always grown pumpkins, but this year was one of their biggest harvests because of the lack of apples.
“Even though it’s a little different than what people were hoping for, everybody that has come down has had a wonderful time out here particularly with the clip your own pumpkin from the vine concept,” Tyler said.
Tyler hopes with this year’s late summer rainfall, next year’s crop will be better to bring apple-picking back.
“I just love watching these shiny little apples on the trees… We’ll see what next year’s apple crop looks like because it was so dry even a year ago and it has a long-term effect,” Tyler said.
For more information on Third Street Apples visit their website.