MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Autumn starts next week, and many Connecticut businesses are hoping for a great season. The previous months of hot, dry weather may have an impact on that, however.
For farms like Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, the fall is the most important time of the year.
“It’s the biggest nine weeks of the season for us,” John Lyman said. “It really is the pinnacle. Everything we work for all year long, it comes down to September and October.”
This dry summer has been tough on many farms. Top state officials visited Rose’s Berry Farm in Glastonbury and heard from owner Sandra Rose what it is farmers need this season.
“Only you can keep Connecticut farms growing,” Rose said. “You have to use your green to keep us green and growing.”
Meanwhile, Connecticut’s forests remain mostly green. When it comes to the important fall foliage season, News 8 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons said the drought has had an impact, too.
“That has actually stressed a lot of trees. They’ve already dropped their leaves in some communities,” Simmons said. “They will continue to drop earlier and earlier. So, you may have patches of bare trees mixed in with the nice colors.”
Most of the state still has to wait a month or more to see those nice colors. Northern corners will reach peak first, then the middle of the state hits peak in the second half of October. The shoreline won’t see peak until around Halloween.
At Lyman Orchards, the drought has meant smaller fruit sizes. The apples are small, but that usually means they’re sweeter. The question is, does the brightness of the fall foliage really affect how many people are coming out to pick the fruit.
“So yeah, there’s a correlation, but I think people are still going to come out, and I think the foliage is not going to be bad,” Lyman said.
Benjamin Franklin is the theme this year at Lyman’s farm. Just don’t try it during any thunderstorms.