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Area apple orchards, pumpkin patches prepare to welcome fall

You will soon be able to fill up your wagons full of apples and pumpkins as the seasons begin to turn. Farm markets and apple orchards began to debut some of their early season varieties, such as Zestar and Paula Reds, earlier this week in anticipation of the more known McIntosh, Cortland, and Honey Crisp varieties. Pumpkins have also been popping up in some fields, with places like Hillside Apples in Casco already picking dozens each day. Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says Mother Nature deserves much of the credit for this year’s crop of apples and pumpkins.

Roethle says some orchards like theirs will offer pick-your-own apples and pumpkins in the coming days. He does advise apple pickers to follow the rules of the orchards because some varieties may be up to a month away from being considered ripe enough to pick. Wisconsin orchard owners produce approximately 56 million pounds of apples yearly, while the state's pumpkin patches produce about 29.5 million pounds.

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