Archive for Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Area fruit grower victim of theft

Apples ripe for picking — and stealing

Floyd Ott, who lives south of Eudora, eats an apple Monday in his orchard. Because of pollination problems, his apple crop was slashed this year. Making matters worse, last week some of the last ripe apples off his trees were stolen.

Floyd Ott, who lives south of Eudora, eats an apple Monday in his orchard. Because of pollination problems, his apple crop was slashed this year. Making matters worse, last week some of the last ripe apples off his trees were stolen.

October 6, 2009

Advertisement

Eudora orchard picked bare by thieves

A Eudora orchard owner helps someone will be caught red-handed after stealing from his trees. Enlarge video

It’s been a tough year for apples at Floyd Ott’s orchards.

First, pollination problems cut down the number of apples this year. In fact, Ott had only 20 bushels of apples to sell at the Lawrence Downtown Farmers’ Market. That’s nothing, compared with the 6,000 to 7,000 bushels he harvested last year.

And so, the 84-year-old Ott was distraught last week when he discovered he’d been the victim of theft.

Some of the last ripe Golden Crisp and Fuji apples were stolen off Ott’s trees near Eudora.

“They grew better than anything else I had,” said Ott, who’s worked in orchards since he was a boy.

Ott added that of the 80 varieties of apples grown on his orchard, the Golden Crisps fly off the shelves the fastest — perhaps explaining why they were taken.

An orchard owner since 1982, Ott said that he’s dealt with a fruit-napping situation only once before. Three years ago, someone plucked more than 700 pounds of peaches from his trees.

“We went to pick ’em and nothing there,” he said. “I planted the rows nine across, and they’re all gone.”

Ott’s orchard did produce a successful chestnut crop this year, in addition to other fruit, including pears, apricots, nectarines, plums and cherries.

“I like to watch things grow,” Ott said, laughing.

Comments

dontcallmedan 5 years, 5 months ago

Sorry for Mr. Ott's loss. But you know what they say about a few bad apples.....

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 5 months ago

the suspect is described as a squirrel, with brown hair, buck teeth and a bushy tail.

lslbison 5 years, 5 months ago

Many of your know Mr. Ott from the Lawrence Farmers' Market. He represents us all so well by bringing delicous apples, chemical free, and educating those of us who don't know the difference in the varieties he grows. Most importantly, the attributes of what we see in the supermarket (all shiny and waxed) vs. apples grown locally that taste like real apples. I, too, am so sorry for your loss Floyd and have missed seeing you at the market. Why don't we all band together and help Mr. Ott. DLFM - I would like to be the first to donate to the Floyd Fund.

christy kennedy 5 years, 5 months ago

That's terrible. I'm sorry all these things happened this year—it's hard enough to bring a crop to harvest just dealing with the weather and assorted pests and diseases. And then thieves? As for the jerky comments (first two) I imagine you made yourselves laugh but you really don't amuse the rest of us.

Scott Drummond 5 years, 5 months ago

Looks like an opportunity for job creation. The investment of a modest amount for an able bodied person to look after the crop might be a good idea.

Bossa_Nova 5 years, 5 months ago

what a bunch of losers stealing this guy's merchandise. only pond scum would do such a thing.

GardenMomma 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe they were hungry?

I'm not trying to excuse the thieves' behavior, but we don't know the reason behind the theft. We don't even know how many were stolen - the article says "some." Is that 100 bushels? Is that 20 apples?

And my first thought was, maybe it WAS a squirrel. I'm sorry his apples were stolen, that's a crying shame that someone works so hard to grow a crop and then it's stolen. Boo on the thief (or thieves).

ku_tailg8 5 years, 5 months ago

That stinks for this guy. I buy local produce over chain grocery stories any chance I can. 20 bushels is ridiculous compared to the 6000 to 7000 bushels last year. Even with pollination problems it seems like it would be time consuming to steal this years apple crop. Surely someone saw somebody with a crazy amount of apples somewhere.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 5 months ago

They picked clean "rows" (plural) of nine trees each. That's not the work of a homeless man needing one meal, that's HARVESTING a crop. Easily a truck load.

mom_of_three 5 years, 5 months ago

I miss Mr. Ott at the Farmer's Market. He always lets you sample the apples before you buy and can tell you everything about them. His prices are great, and he and his wife are the nicest people. My kids loved the little peaches last year. I feel so bad for Mr. Ott. I hope things turn around.

CrazyUkrainian1 5 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of the reason, theft if wrong. The people who stole his produce should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure if someone walked up to Mr. Ott and said they were hungry he would have been happy to spare a few apples. At least that's the kind of guy he seems like from the article. Good luck to you Mr. Ott!

somedude20 5 years, 5 months ago

GardenMomma says,"Maybe they were hungry?"

GM, I hope that you did not teach your children that it is alright to steal so long as they are hungry

webmocker 5 years, 5 months ago

GardenMomma (Anonymous) says…

Maybe they were hungry?


So if someone trespassed in your home and stole your food you'd be OK with it if "they were hungry?"

GardenMomma 5 years, 5 months ago

Read the last lines of my post: "that's a crying shame that someone works so hard to grow a crop and then it's stolen. Boo on the thief (or thieves)."

I didn't say it was all right to steal if you were hungry. Just because you have a reason for doing something doesn't make it right.

bd 5 years, 5 months ago

So it is ok to steal if you are hungry???? Get real!

CrazyUkrainian1 5 years, 5 months ago

I think it's prudent to know the facts before uneducated statements are made regarding the so-called race of the people who stole the fruit. Also, just because certain people may have been allegedly seen stealing somewhere doesn't mean that the same people are to blame in this situation. Regardless of who stole the fruit or for what reason, it is wrong. I think we can all agree on that.

CrazyUkrainian1 5 years, 5 months ago

cheeseburger -

If that's the case then that is all you needed to say.

kthxbi 5 years, 5 months ago

And you know they were from Mexico how?

irussell 5 years, 5 months ago

I saw a bunch of deer eating the peaches off my peach tree this year - interesting to watch them on their hind legs reaching for the very top of the tree. They also took out a couple of limbs. Maybe deer might be part of the problem

woodenfleaeater 5 years, 5 months ago

kthxbi (Anonymous) says…

And you know they were from Mexico how?


They were wearing sombreros, ponchos, drinking Dos Equis, shooting guns in the air and playing mariachi music. What other proof do you need?

kthxbi 5 years, 5 months ago

but you just described my friday night. And I am no pear thief .

jonas_opines 5 years, 5 months ago

Excuse me sir, is that a bushel of apples in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

Danimal 5 years, 5 months ago

We should still cut hands off for this kind of thing.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 5 months ago

The apples were taken to be used. Obviously somebody had a great need due to their appetite. It's all good. He should feel great he is helping to stop starvation.

anggrn1999 5 years, 5 months ago

You know it is a shame that someone had to steal Apples for whatever reason, I know Mr. Ott, and his family really well, if anyone needed anything he would be willing to give you what he had. I worked at a place that he came in everyday, and would always bring things from his farm to us, for our family's and such. And now I have to read that someone had to go and steal from him, what did it prove? If they read the paper with this story, do you think they will feel bad about what they did? Probably not, do you think they can sleep at night? Probably, because no one wants to fess up to whomever did this. It's a shame to what happened Mr. Ott, its a real shame. And Keithmiles05, "its all good, he should feel great he is helping to stop starvation.........Really?" If you think its all good, you should contact him next year and maybe donate your time and help him getting his crop back, since you think its ok for someone steal food while another man is left without money and food.

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

Had too be those gypsy Mexican's, American's are just too lazy to pick this many Apples. LOL.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 5 months ago

Okay, enough! Thieves come in all races. Personally I think that whomever stole Mr. Ott's apples did so just to be mean. I fear those apples will go to waste. No, I do not believe it is okay to steal if you are hungry. I do think that if the apples were stolen by someone who was desperately hungry they would have taken just a few apples. I am curious as to what the pollination problems were Mr. Ott experienced. Was it a lack of bees, or lack of the right type of bees? If so, are there any beekeepers who could help this guy out next season? Someone mentioned a well-trained Rottweiler? Exactly. Is there anyone who could "lend" out their Rotties or German Shepherds next year? As for the thieves, I hope you have enough conscience left to be haunted by what you did. I hope you lose as much sleep over what you did as I'm sure Mr. Ott has over the loss. Shame on you!!! A hard-working, elderly man who still has the ability and drive to work this hard, and then you "kick" him when he's down( pollination problems)?

cj123 5 years, 5 months ago

i have a apple orchid in my yard (my apples did poorly also this year) and if i saw someone stealing the apples i would be angry, but if the person came to my door and asked for some, i wouldn't not mind the person picking a few!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.