"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|
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.