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Incoming BYTES
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apples Galore

"Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.
                                                           -- Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

Interesting that here we are, September 1st--and after a strange, weird, and late spring, our apple trees are actually ahead of schedule.
  How can that be?   The earliest of our apples were two weeks earlier than usual, and  normally late-season apples are now ready-- early. The crop?  Better than average.

 See?  Apples by the gazillions.  Some 50 gallons of  Haralson Red apples were picked today from a single tree.   The Harelson Red is a good multi-purpose apple.  A few late foundling grapes were rescued from the squirrels while we were out and about too.

Haralson Red Apples and a few foundling Concord grapes too

 We also picked the Sweet Sixteen apples.  A big, sweet apple that keeps well,  the Sweet Sixteen is a promising apple for our geographic area. Our Sweet Sixteen tree was stressed by weird spring conditions, and although the leaves were smaller than usual, the apples were bigger than in previous years .  See these?  They're huge!

Sweet Sixteen Apples--A big, sweet, crisp apple.

 It is strange the Sweet Sixteens  certainly were far bigger than usual. Check this one out!  The quality and size of the fruit was no less than amazing this year.  Not too shabby! 

A perfect Sweet Sixteen Apple
 Luke apples are moderately late, moderately tart, and fortunately, also a very good keeping apple.  Lukes can be stored for many months.   An apple with less juice, they are excellent for pastry, drying, and making apple sauce. The Luke is a large apple, at times over 4" across, and the trees are prolific in good years.  We picked a bushel of these delicious apples this season.

Luke Apples--Huge.

Then there were the September Ruby apples. Not a long keeper, they are sweet, delicious, and a prolific producer. The September Ruby makes wonderful apple sauce or juice too, great for eating out of hand, but much like the earliest Norlands, do not store well for extended periods.

September Ruby Apples 2012

Experimental apples:  The WendyCrisp.   If we didn't mind a hungry bear chewing a few of the best, ---the 'WendyCrisp",  a new, snapping crisp and sweet apple, our apple-picking might have waited a few days.

  The bear attacking that special tree "encouraged" us to pick the rest of the apples in a hurry to avoid any further tree damage. That made me very cranky.

The beautiful WendyCrisp apple grew from a tiny wild apple tree sprout found in the wilds, ---and is now a producing tree. The WendyCrisp  ripens in September, bearing  brilliant red,   sweet, snapping-crispy and juicy apples with a wonderful flavor. They keep better than most.  The size of these apples appears to be medium-but some large individual apples have been noted, which offers great potential.  We have yet to use  thinning or enhanced pruning techniques to optimize apple size.

The WendyCrisp apple

Other apples worth  exploring for this difficult climate are the Spartan,  Pink Lady, and McIntosh.

A friend of mine also  has a Yellow Gala apple tree in production;  the apples are large, yellow-green, sweet, and very good tasting. It, too,  looks like a potential grafting project!

I am also looking for a heritage Winesap apple which is reportedly  a late-producing apple. Would the wonderful heritage Winesap grow and produce in NW Ontario?  We certainly won' t know until we try!

Is that Incoming I hear?

Photo credits:  Photographs in this post were all taken by the author.



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Wendy, thanks! "Wow" is quite appropriate for our apples this year- early, great quality, and prolific! I'm still looking for that Winesap...hint-hint. ":) ~R

  2. Such an amazing fruit! I use a lot of them in my power juice - you know, the super veggie, green and red ones, that jam pack about 6 servings of vegetables in one or two glasses. Apples (and melon) truly give it the best flavor and texture. Nice post, Raymond:)

    1. Thanks, M.J.! Apples are super fruit aren't they? Apples are an integral part of our food too. Great stuff! Nice to see you, btw! ":)

  3. Oh my gosh....They are gorgeous RK !!! You must have to spray your trees to have them so bug free, no? Mine are filled with creatures unfortunately. I have to figure out a way to keep my field cut back away from the trees. The pitch is pretty steep which makes it impossible to brushog so I'm going to have to pay someone to use a brush cutter (steel blade weed wacker). I am sure the tall grass is bringing in the creatures...They sure don't look like yours!!! Gorgeous....VK

    1. Hi Vk, thank you, they do seem rather healthier than average, don't they?

      Surprisingly, Vk,-- everyone totally wonders that we use NO sprays of any kind on our fruit trees. NO chemicals, no insect control, NO chemical fertilizers. The apples themselves have no worms or bugs of any kind. These apples are truly produced organically .

      The only consideration for control of bugs is that we have CHIVES (the onion-like spice) planted at the trunk of each mature apple tree, and we do keep the long hay cut down (relatively) around the trees which may help.

      Interesting isn't it? The only damage we have is the odd squirrel/chipmunk/ nibbled apple or birds testing or dining on one or two of the most beautiful, reddest apples at the top of the trees.
      This year we have some new trees grown from seed-as an experiment, and I have noticed that there were green aphids (and accompanying ants) at the most tender leaders of those specific trees (Pink LADY apple) but aphids have NOT been noted on any other trees. Worthy of note,--- There have been no chives planted under those three juvenile trees yet either...kind of interesting. We will be planting some this fall. I guess we'll see! Thanks for commenting! ":) ~R

    2. Glad you mentioned the chives, Raymond! I'd forgotten about that - I want to try it. ALL my apple varieties (Norland, Goodmac, Goodland and Honeycrisp) get aphids on their growth points.

      Like you I've had nothing damage the fruit except birds. The apples are remarkably clean. Lucky us!

    3. Hi Wendy, yes we are lucky, the apples are beautiful.

      Don't forget the chives, I believe they do help with the prevention of insect infestation in apple trees. I haven't seen aphids on growth points on any of my standard trees like the Norland. As you know I don't have Goodmac, Goodland or Honeycrisp at this time.
      The birds sure do find the ripest apples, and apparently so do the squirrels. I'm guessing that with the odd bear and deer too, that's quite enough potential damage. ":) ~R


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