With fall in the air, it’s time to enjoy some seasonal treats. So far, this year’s apple crop appears to be a successful one, with the right weather conditions for beautiful fruit. Enderle Farms in Hemmingford, which has been around for four generations, is expecting a great harvest in the orchard this year.
Enderle Farms is currently being run by brothers Nick, Jason, and Chad Enderle. The three of them took over the family farm in the summer of 2021; the farm was started by their great-grandparents in the 1930s. Production focuses on apples, but there are some plums and pears as well. Nick Enderle explains that they would eventually “like to diversify a little bit to other fruits and vegetables.”
Currently, the farm runs on 60 acres of land, but Enderle explains that they are planning on expanding their orchard each year. “Last year, we put in five acres of trees … Every year, we’ll try to do a few acres at a time.” As of now, the orchard offers 11 varieties of apples; however, the brothers have planted a few new kinds and in a few years are hoping to have 13 or 14 varieties.
Enderle is feeling optimistic about this season. The weather seemed concerning at first but ended up being fine and produced impressive fruit. “We had a slow start to the growing season due to the cool spring, although the rest of the season has been great, [with] a lot of rain. [The] quality and size of fruit is there this year …We are actually expecting a bumper crop, the biggest in 20 years!”
Last season was difficult, especially due to the labour shortage. Enderle explains that they just didn’t have the staff to pick a lot of the fruit. He says, “We paid the price, because a lot of our produce was left on the trees… We have to go and pick up the apples off the ground afterwards.” The expectation of a bumper crop is always exciting, and this year they also have been able to bring in workers from Mexico which means less fruit will be left behind.
Enderle Farms also produces its own honey. Enderle says that the honey was a passion project of his grandfather’s, and he was intrigued by the bees growing up. “My grandfather used to do it and then the next generation wasn’t really interested. Growing up being around my grandfather, it interested me, so I started it, and now we’re keeping it up.” The farm currently has four hives but plans to double that next year. Not only is it an interesting endeavour, but it also helps with pollinating the trees. On top of this expansion, they have also started to grow garlic this year and plan on developing that more next year.
Updates on Enderle Farms can be found on the Facebook page, Les Fermes Enderle SENC. Apples are sold at the farm in Hemmingford, and in some grocery stores and markets in Montreal and in Ontario.
This season the farm is open on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., then again on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m. It doesn’t have a U-Pick, but there is a variety of apples, garlic, and honey ready to take home and enjoy.