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Apple growers look forward to sweet season in southwestern Virginia

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Sep 13 2013 06:30:10 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 13 2013 08:54:24 PM EDT

Apple growers in the Shenandoah Valley are expecting an excellent crop this year.

BOTETOURT CO., Va. -

On a Botetourt County hillside, nimble fingers make quick work of branches bending under the weight of ripened fruit.

The peaches have come and gone at Ikenberry Orchards this year.  Now it's the golden delicious apples that demand the attention of the workers there.

Jennifer Ikenberry is the fifth generation of her family to work the orchards in western Virginia. "The cool nights have helped color the apples," Ikenberry told WDBJ7. "The sugar content is high. So they're all going to be really good and sweet."

That's music to the ears of Roanoke County residents Bill and Ruby Breedlove.

"A good fresh homegrown apple. Better than the cold storage stuff," said Bill Breedlove.  His wife agreed.  "I just love the taste of them. And I like the red delicious too," Ruby Breedlove told us. "They're real good. "

The apple season is now upon us, and it won't be leaving any time soon.
With at least 13 varieties on Ikenberry's Botetourt County hillsides, the hits will keep coming into the new year.