Eastern Iowa apples ripe for the picking - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa apples ripe for the picking, more selection than last year

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Chandrakumar Mudugere often visits orchards in Eastern Iowa. He likes to bring his family with him when they visit from India.

"There's a saying, an apple a day keeps doctor away," said Mudugere, who lives in Marion. "I believe in it. I eat an apple every day after lunch so I love apples."

Allen's Orchard in Marion has only been open for the season for a week, but already has plenty of apples to offer. Some tree branches have bent, even broken, due to the weight of all the fruit.

"We had a wonderful late spring this year, many people were complaining about how cold it was and we were like 'Hey, this is awesome!'" said Chris Gensicke, farmer at Allen's Orchard. "Then we had rain, rain, rain, rain which is just perfect for apples."

Last year, a late spring frost followed by combined with the summer's drought killed most of this orchard's apples. Farmers here say if they'd had another year like that this year, they might have been able to open in 2014.

"The type of insurance that would be available to us to offset a two year loss would just pretty much be devastating for a business like ours," said Gensicke. 

Luckily, that wasn't a problem for the orchard.

Families like the Mudugeres are glad they'll still be able to pick their own apples.

"We come regularly to this farm," said Mudugere. "We like it. It's close to our home."

There should be plenty of apples to choose from in the coming months. This is just the beginning of apple season. Most varieties will ripen in the coming weeks and will be available for picking in September and October.

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