Near-Perfect Growing Season Brings Great Apples, Fewer Crowds

By: Tim Studebaker

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) – On this warm and sunny Friday afternoon, the fields were relatively quiet at Jaswell’s farm in Smithfield, normally a very popular destination for fall apple picking.

Jaswell’s Farm Owner Chris Jaswell says, “That’s the biggest thing for us, is the fall.  The family comes out and we do a free hay ride on Sundays.  We have a concession tent with hot cider donuts, apple crisp, french fries, that sort of thing.”

Meteorological summer (June, July, and August) was much warmer than average, ranking as the 11th warmest on record.  Rainfall, which is very important for crop development, was near average.

Jaswell says, “I would say it’s pretty close to a perfect season.  The rainfall is our main problem, because we have sandy soil.  We had just enough, and the few times we didn’t, we irrigated.”

While the weather over the summer was just about perfect for these apples, the warm start to fall, with many September afternoons in the 80s, isn’t exactly screaming “apple picking” just yet.

Jaswell says, “Weekends have been busy, but not crazy yet.  I mean last weekend was 80 degrees, so people are still going to the beach.”

The season goes on for several more weeks, and Jaswell is hoping the weather will cooperate a bit more.

Jaswell says, “You wake up and it’s real cold, you’re gonna get bombarded.  People wake up, they say ‘oop it’s time to go apple picking,’ and they have at it.”

Apple picking not your thing?  You can always grab a bag of apples or a jug of cider in their shop, or maybe try their newest addition.

Jaswell says, “Cider donut sandwiches.  Ice cream sandwiches.”

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