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No late spring frost means big apple crop in Flagstaff

October 7, 2018

In this Sept. 29, 2018, photo Resident Ward Davis spends every Saturday and Sunday process apples for free for local community members with his apple press at the Market of Dreams Sunnyside Community Market on 7th Street in Flagstaff, Ariz. The Flagstaff area didn't have its usual late frost this year so the result, months later, is a bountiful apple harvest. (Ben Shanahan/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Flagstaff area is seeing a bountiful apple harvest months after avoiding its usual late spring frost.

That means late-season bloomers such as apples are more likely to survive and produce fruit, according to the National Weather Service.

Longtime Flagstaff resident Lydia Garcia’s apple tree bore fruit for the first time in several years, the Arizona Daily Sun reported last week.

“We got so many, it’s the first time I’ve seen so many apples on that tree,” she said. “When we planted it, it was just a baby tree — about 30 or 40 years ago.”

Luke Bowman said his backyard apple tree became so “overzealous” that the branches began to break.

Martin Delgado has been giving his apples away in large batches to friends and family members. His family recently made several jars of apple jam. He said the rest keep falling as he struggles to keep up with the crop.

Other fruits had appeared in droves, too.

“We saw cherries, apples, plums, pears,” said Hattie Braun, director with the Coconino County Cooperative Extension and county master gardener program coordinator.

Plum trees at The Arboretum at Flagstaff bore fruit for the first time in recent memory, according to director Lynne Nemeth, who also attributed the growth to the lack of a late frost.

Flagstaff Foodlink, who works to ensure food access and eliminate food insecurity by providing healthy food to the community, is working to use all the apples they can. Foodlink’s Flagstaff Fruit Tree Project works to prevent falling fruit from going to waste and getting it to food pantries and people in need.

Roots Micro Farm offers to pick fruit trees in exchange for a small share of the bounty.

“It’s kind of been a main mission this fall with all the fruit on trees to try and get them all harvested and in the mouths of the community,” owner Josh Chance said.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/

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