INDEPENDENCE DAY: Sunny. High: 83. Winds: Light Northeast.
SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 86. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.
Storm Team 20 Meteorologist
Broom Orchard is Ready for Apple Season
It's getting cooler in Central Illinois and that has many of us thinking about Fall. You can't think abotu fall here without thinking about apples.
"We'll be in the apple business for two or three months here," said Jeff Broom, Co-owner of Broom Orchard in Carlinville. The apple business means a booming business for Jeff and his wife, Lisa Broom. "It's a full-time job. People say, what's your real job. Well, it just depends on hwo you look is how many jobs you can find," said Jeff. There are between four and five thousand apple trees on the farm, and Jeff says the fruit is right on time. "This year they bloomed on a normal schedule, whatever normal is anymore. So as a result, the harvest season is on about a normal track," said Jeff.
A normal track unlike the previous two years when the apple orchard was hit by a disastrous hail storm in 2011 and drought last year. "This year has been a really good growing season. The fruit is large. It's good quality. It's just been a good, good growing season so it has been fun to harvest."
Once the apples are picked, it's time to prepare them for selling. The apples are put onto a grater. The small and bruised apples are removed, and the rest are bagged and sold in the Orchard's farm market. "We also sell a lot of cider, preserves, no-sugar items, local honey and popcorn," said Lisa Broom. Lisa says some people like to wait until the end of the season to buy cider, because that's when it's typically the sweetest. "They can go ahead and pour a little bit out of their jug and put it in the freezer," said Lisa.
Visitors have been coming to the orchard for decades. It has been in the Broom family since 1968. "We have people that come that the grandparents have brought their kids, their kids have brought their kids, several generations return to the orchard every year and they always have a story to tell," said Lisa. Many of those stories involve apple picking, a favorite feature for many families who visit Broom's. "You just grab a wagon and head out in the orchard and pick and eat and have a good time," said Jeff. So whether you buy your apples, or pick your own, it's time to take a bite out of apple season. In Carlinville, Lindsey Hess, ABC NewsChannel 20.
THE BROOMS ALSO GROW PUMPKINS ON THEIR FARM.
LAST YEAR, THE PUMPKINS STRUGGLED BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT...
...BUT THE BROOMS SAY THIS YEAR THEY HAVE A VERY SUCCESSFUL CROP.Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT