On Thursday I dropped into the Pine Farms Orchard Cafe & Bakery, north of King City, on the 16th Sideroad between Keele and Jane Streets, to pick up a blueberry pie for dinner. The minature apple trees were all bursting into leaf and blossoms.
As I looked out across the rolling sweep of the orchard, I immediately thought of the reports about how the incredibly mild March weather has apparently doomed 80% of the apple crop in the Niagara Peninsula. I asked the young lady behind the counter if she had heard anything about the condition of the apple trees at Pine Farms. She was non-committal and thought that it was probably too early to tell how local conditions were going to affect this years crop. She suggested that perhaps the apples might be slightly smaller this year, but only time would tell. Apple-picking at Pine Farms Orchard has become a strong, local tradition for many in King and beyond. Let's hope Pine Farms Orchard's 'King Ridge' or moraine micro-climate was unique enough to withstand the vagaries of an early spring that seemed so wonderful a month-and-a-half ago but is now showing some unpleasant after-effects.
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