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Nova Scotia fruit growers encouraged by bountiful blossoms


Alex Walsh isn’t going to count his apples before they’re picked, but there’s reason to believe this year’s crop will be a good one.

“We’ve got big bloom, we’ve got big potential for a big crop. We just need everything to go well and will have good apples at the end of the season,” says Walsh, an apple grower.

Joan Hebb, president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association, is optimistic there will be a bountiful season for all growers this fall.

“Overall, I think this is going to be a really good year. There’s lots of bloom everywhere and the weather is cooperating,” says Hebb.

It's a major turnaround from the last couple years when farmers faced a series of extreme weather events that destroyed some crops entirely.

“In 2023, we had a freeze, polar vortex that took out all of the peaches and other stone fruits. In February 2022, the same kind of thing happened that damaged a lot of buds so we’ve had two years with virtually no peaches and cherries and plums,” Hebb says.

The tree fruit industry still managed to contribute $83.1 million to the provincial GDP last year.

“A lot of it is sold locally, but we also have good international markets. We sell in Ontario, but we also sell into the U.S. and around the world,” says Hebb.

Now to make this year even better, Walsh just needs the pollinators to do their thing

“We’ve got an outrageous amount of bloom. You can see by the amount of beautiful flowers here, we need 10 per cent of these flowers to be pollinated to a crop and then will have a good crop that is marketable and good for export and good for Nova Scotia.”

Apple blossoms are pictured. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

So abundant are the buds, Walsh has had to prune the trees once already this year. He’s planning to thin the blossoms out again Thursday because there are too many. This is to control the amount and quality of apples that will be picked in the fall.

After two years of unpredictable weather, Walsh is hoping his trees will bear the full fruits of his labour come harvest time.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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