Cleveland apple orchard expecting best season in five years - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland apple orchard expecting best season in five years

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Places like Apple Valley Orchard in Bradley County are expected to have the best harvest they've seen in five years.

Last year's drought impacted the size of the apples, and hail storms in previous years damaged parts of the crop, but that is not the case this year.

Chuck McSpadden, owner of Apple Valley Orchard, tells Channel 3, Fall 2017 should be the best harvest they've seen in nearly 5 years. 

"The size has been coming along with all the abundant rainfall we've had this summer," says McSpadden.

The Tennessee Valley has had nearly 9" above normal rain this year and the lack of heat waves has helped.

McSpadden adds, "Some years we get a little sunburn, we don't have any sunburn on the apples this year. So, overall I think it's going to be a great crop year. The size is good, and the flavor is coming right along on the early variety. The sugar content is starting to come up."

Two varieties are currently being picked, Ginger Gold and Gala. By the first week of September, they'll have an additional six, which includes Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious.

October is expected to be a big hit, with over 14 varieties.

"In the bakery, we have our famous fried pies. Everybody loves those. We do fritters, apple cider donuts; everybody is crazy over apple cider donuts," says Dianne Shannon of Apple Valley Orchard.

Diane Shannon tells Channel 3, they'll be offering pies all season and into November and December for the holidays. 

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