Are fall activities affected by the recent drought?

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Autumn is in full swing, which means residents of southern New England will be enjoying their favorite seasonal activities, whether it’s navigating their way through a maze of corn, to choose a pumpkin or to fill a bag with fresh apples.

However, many local farmers were worried about their harvest after the extreme drought conditions that affected our region during the summer.

With little or no rainfall, farmers had to make tough decisions, such as whether to wait out the dry weather or increase their irrigation.

John Steere, manager of Steere Orchard in Smithfield, told 12 News he chose the former.

“We held up pretty well,” he said. “We have very heavy soil and the apple trees have a little deeper roots than corn, corn plants or vegetables, so it held them up for a bit long, then we finally got some rain and that helped. everything to push until the end. ”

However, some other crops could not afford to wait for the dry conditions. Vincent Confreda, owner of Confreda Farms in Cranston, said his pumpkin patch needed help and was irrigated for most of the summer.

“In fact, the harvest came in very well, unexpectedly,” Confreda said. “We irrigated our pumpkins, which was a big help. With irrigation and hot, dry weather, pumpkins love it because we give them the water they need.

In the end, it seemed that controlled watering of his crops turned out to be the difference maker. This helped the pumpkins stay dry and prevent rot, which Confreda says was a big problem last summer when our area saw too much rain.

“It’s like a catch-22. You don’t know how to figure it out, but this year the pumpkins turned out to be really good,” he added.

Southern New England has been experiencing cool temperatures and rainy conditions since early October. Farmers say they hope it won’t rain at the weekend.

“Last weekend we had a rainy day and a windy day, which definitely slowed us down,” Steere said. “We only have a limited number of apple picking weekends during the season.”

So, what’s the weather like for activities this coming weekend? Check out our detailed 7-day forecast to find out.

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