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Bad apples won't spoil the rest of Canon City's harvest

Posted at 7:19 PM, Sep 21, 2023

CANON CITY — “I really wanted to pick the apples.”

LeeAnn Webb’s road trip from Colorado Springs to the apple orchards in Fremont County ran into a roadblock.

Most of the apple crop was destroyed earlier in the summer.

“They said it was due to all the rain and the hail,” said Webb.

“June 12th, we had a horrendous hailstorm,” said Britt Colon of Colon Orchards, “The apples, they did not bounce back.”

It is a big loss, but Colon, a 4th generation farmer in the area has diversified the farm to help protect the bottom line with layers of potential income.

Tomatoes, peppers, and other produce plants were also damaged.

With some extra care, many of those plants eventually recovered.

It did cause the harvest to start later, which means it is lasting longer into the fall.

There is still plenty of produce at the Colon’s market next to their fields.

“I'm hoping Mother Nature doesn't do anything wonky, like, freeze tomorrow or anything, because that would really hurt,” said Colon.

She also works as an educator for several school districts.

She gets paid to step in as the teacher for field trips teaching the source of food.

Kids usually get to pick an apple from a tree.

“This year, they're going to have to pick an apple out of a box--not as cool,” said Colon, “We're still going to learn about hail and how it forms and how devastating it can be to the farmers in our community.”

Right next to the apple orchard is a big cornfield where a maze will be cut.

Visitors looking for some fall fun can pay to give it a try.

Colon explained, “This is field corn, strictly for the corn maze, because it grows taller and more dense. And also, we use it for dual purpose. So, when we're done with a corn maze in November, we let our cows out here, and it feeds our cows.”

Pumpkins provide another layer of revenue in the fall.

The Colon’s crop did suffer from hail.

What survived will be supplemented with pumpkins from fields in Pueblo.

“[Farming is] very difficult most years but you know, it's very rewarding to me and my family. And just being part of the community and having them support us means a lot,” said Colon

LeeAnn Webb did buy some apples brought in from Colorado growers in another county.

Even though her plans for picking apples did not happen she still enjoyed her day visiting farms.

She said, “This time of year is just my favorite time of the year and just see all the fruits and vegetables and pumpkins.”
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