The community’s 50 apple farms are reporting a bumper crop of the fruit — and shoppers. That’s because many budget-minded consumers are looking for cheap entertainment, and the nearby farms and their products, from fresh-based apple pies to the wineries, is a local option.
In fact, the bad economy and mild weather could be the ingredients for a record-setting year at Apple Hill. The community’s apple farmers had an economic impact of $101 million on 2008. That’s almost double the figure a decade earlier. The growers association handled about 3.3 million “hits” on its Web site last month. That’s about 2 million more than October 2008.
Now, the association does not follow customers in stores, but some Apple Hill leaders say the number of so-called Web hits correlate to the increase number of feet on their farms and at roadside stands.