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Plentiful apple crop helps Utahns in need

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KAMAS, Utah (News4Utah) – The heat can easily be blamed for a slew of problems, but our above average warmth also helped turn out a bumper crop this season. It’s been a summer of success for apples and now a fruitful harvest is headed to those in need. 

“We are having a bumper crop of apples this year and they seem to be ripening about three weeks earlier,” Jason Barto of ReLEAF Utah said. 

Last year, early season cold snaps caused problems from Heber to Logan when it came to the apple harvest.  Our mild winter, early spring warm up and the persistent summer heat has changed the outcome of the apple season this year. 

“Not having the cold snap and getting started a little earlier in the growth game, gave them some more time to have sugars develop. The trees just got going sooner,” said Barto.

ReLEAF Utah is a nonprofit on the backside of the Wasatch. Volunteers maintain fruit trees on private property by picking and pruning, sorting fruit, cleaning fruit from the ground and donating it so nothing gets wasted. 

“The Park City Christian Center, we have a local food pantry called Community Action, three years ago they started taking some of the apples and this year, we expect to be partnering with Eats Park City,” said Barto. 

Healthy options at food pantries can be a challenge. In Kamas, volunteers say the food bank typically goes 11 months without produce, so the influx of fruit and vegetables is extremely helpful. 

“You should eat healthy, you should eat fresh produce when it’s available, in the winter you’ve got cans to deal with, fresh is the best,” Paul Squire of the Community Action Center in Kamas told News4Utah.

Two years ago, ReLEAF Utah was able to donate 2,000 pounds of apples to charity, this year, they say harvest will likely double that number. For more information, visit: http://www.releafutah.org/

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