LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – It’s apple season, but U-Pick Mesilla Valley Apples says many apples will go to waste this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Normally, on Labor Day weekend, hundreds of people could be seen picking apples. However, this Labor Day few people are allowed in the orchid at one time and many apples can be seen rotting on the ground.
“Without being able to have a large number of people come at one time to pick the apples, they’re dropping and falling, so I’m basically losing my crop,” said Luanne Burke the Owner of U-Pick Mesilla Valley Apples.
Bruke tells KTSM 9 News that Labor Day weekend is when she makes most of her money for the entire year.
“Usually, Labor Day weekend is like huge for me and that’s where I will make all of my money. I will have the parking lot covered with cars and people standing in line,” said Burke. “In one day, I would make 4,500 to 5,000 bucks this week. I’m making 300 to 400 dollars in one day.”
Burke is still staying hopeful that she will sell enough apples to be able to afford next years crop.
“I welcome anybody who can come that fits into the New Mexico mandate, and maybe that will change next week and I can invite everybody from Texas to come,” said Burke.
Some of those who were able to come and pick apples have noticed the apples already on the ground.
“It’s really sad because they’re just going to waste and there’s really not enough, not even birds to come and eat them,” said Paola Grajeu a U-Pick Mesilla Valley Apples customer.
Although, there are still lots of ripe apples still on the trees ready to be picked.
“We thought we’d have a nice labor day weekend and come out and enjoy the apple picking before they’re all gone,” said Debbie Hermosillo a U-Pick Mesilla Valley Apples customer who came to pick apples with her young granddaughters.
U-Pick Mesilla Valley Apples said the fruit should still be on the trees and ready to pick until the end of September.