Thanks to a three day freeze last spring, there is an apple shortage across the nation.
According to the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program, Michigan was hardest hit and produced only ten percent of its normal crop. The northern part of Pennsylvania was also hit fairly hard, but the midstate managed to escape the damage.
Dan and Karen Paulus have been running Paulus Orchards on Mt. Airy Road in Dillsburg for 15 years. They have over 20 varieties.
“Central Pennsylvania has been very fortunate,” Dan Paulus said. “We thought it was going to be a huge disaster. Western Pennsylvania kind of suffered the same fate as Michigan, western New York state and even parts of eastern Pennsylvania has had some problems.”
Paulus Orchards has been taking calls from people all over the country looking for apples.
“We are having a very good year this year, so we are very thankful for that. At the same time, my heart goes out to all the people that are not,” Karen Paulus said.
Although the midstate has bins full of apples, everything is about two weeks ahead of schedule.
“We are trying very hard to get all of the apples off the trees before there is too much rain, wind or any kind of damaging weather,” Karen Paulus said.
Historically, Pennsylvania is the fourth largest apple producer in the country, producing approximately 11 million bushels annually. Due to the national shortage, Pennsylvania will be the third largest producer this year.
To find the closest orchard to you, visit the website of Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program at pennsylvaniaapples.org.