White House Fruit Farm Preps for Autumn Crop

CANFIELD, Ohio – Every fall, White House Fruit Farm becomes a destination for Mahoning Valley residents.

Fruit, vegetables, donuts, pumpkins, apple cider – visitors plan to purchase their favorites shortly after the summer. But the Hull family needed to approach 2020 a little differently.

White House Fruit Farm faced a unique hurdle while other businesses around the country dealt with COVID-19. The cold spring, specifically in April, froze some of the farm’s crops. 

“People don’t realize how devastating that cold weather was in April for crops,” said David Hull, former White House Fruit Farm owner.

Apples, peaches and cherries took the brunt of the frost. Dave Hull said White House will look out of state for apples and peaches this year. The farm will purchase apples, but will still create their cider in Canfield so customers can get their fall fix.

“We’ll still press our own cider here, but we’ll have to buy the apples,” David Hull said.

The cold didn’t dismantle the farm. The farm still has fruits and berries that were ready during the summer and the vegetables came in better than expected.

“Many of them weren’t planted before the cold weather in early May,” Dave Hull said, adding that the farm’s various peppers are ready to pick after a strong season. But the peppers aren’t the only exciting produce for the Hulls. 

The family is preparing to pick Ludacrisp, a newer apple planted by the White House staff three years ago.

Ludacrisp tastes like Juicy Fruit gum, according to Dave Hull. It is a byproduct of an alliance between smaller farms to help develop and grow apples without licensing through larger distributors.

“We’re as excited and interested, I think, as customers are going to be,” Dave Hull said. “There won’t be a lot of them, but there will be enough to have small amounts so people can get a taste of it.”

For two weeks, the farm carried orders out to customers in the parking lot. White House Fruit Farm’s Debbie Pifer said the business has made adjustments, but quickly returned to normal. Employees and customers wearing masks and face shields, and she said the farm is focusing on the summer crop.

David Hull is uncertain regarding the Fall Gift Barn and Pumpkin Pavilion and other fall festivities. He admits that he doesn’t know what to expect from the events due to coronavirus.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” David Hull said. “But so far, it’s been pretty well.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.