Saturday, Columbus Day (October 12), 2013: What’s happening today at Magicland Farms.

Despite a rumor about some rain, today looks to be another really nice warm fall day.  Unless you are allergic to water, I wouldn’t worry today about rain.  Right now, it looks like at most we will get a tenth of inch of rain sometime between 6PM and 9PM. Tomorrow and Monday look to be absolutely gorgeous with temperatures in the 60s.  The end of next week will be cooler with average temperatures for this time of year.

Late Thursday we harvested our largest giant pumpkin – 208 pounds worth of pumpkin! It is located in our stand right in front of the red picnic table. Besides the gigantic giant pumpkin when we open at 10AM we will be having slicing, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, watermelon, sweet bell (green, red and orange), Ancho and Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, acorn squash, Heart of Gold Squash, Celebration squash (see Special 1/2 bushel price for selected squash types and green peppers at the end of post),  spaghetti squash, butternut squash, blue Hubbard squash, pie pumpkins, Asian pears and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Snow, Spartan, Jonathan, Empire, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Hawaii and a sampling of Jonalicious.  (Note: For descriptions of Tolman Sweet, Hawaii, Candy Cane, Kandil Sinap, RedGold, Jonagored and Jonalicious apples scroll down to the end of this blog post.) We also have a large, colorful selection of Indian Corn as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot.

PUMPKIN PATCH IS OPEN! (See photos scattered throughout this post!)

Keep in mind our Pumpkin Patch is open and it is nearly full with pumpkins of all sizes — from tiny ones smaller than a baseball to huge monsters over 100 pounds!  While pumpkins have been selling well this year, we continually stock our patch with freshly picked pumpkins since we still have quite a few out in the fields yet.  In addition to Jack-O-Lantern types we have a good supply of pie pumpkins as well as small decorative gourds and corn stalks in this patch.  This is a great place to take photos!

SPECIALS

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!)

Spaghetti Squash– half bushel $5, whole bushel $8 (that’s about 16 cents a pound!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10. Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

I am in the process of writing descriptions of our apple varieties.  In order to get this description out as soon as possible, I am leaving out the summer and early fall apples and starting with Jonamac. Since we will be selling over 40 apple varieties that ripen after Jonamac this is quite an undertaking at this busy time of the year.  To help out here I will be listing in the blog the more unusual apple varieties as we pick them.  See below for a start.

Apple Descriptions For Some Of Our Unusual Apples You May Never Have Heard About

Tolman Sweet Appearance: Fruit is medium-sized and round with yellowish-white skin  sometimes with a faint red blush. Qualities: The firm, fine-grained white flesh is juicy and very sweet with a distinctive “candy sweet apple” flavor.

History: A very old American apple believed to have originated in Dorchester Massachusetts.

CANDY CANE (a.k.a. Surprise): Appearance: A very small apple, the size may be compared to our Whitney Crab Apple. It is pale yellow, sometimes spotted with rust, and it may have a little red blush. Qualities: The flesh is crisp, flavor has a nice tart snap, and as we tell our customers – you need to bite into it to know the Surprise! Hint: Think pink! Uses: Fresh eating Harvest time and availability: October – November Storage: Good keeper. History: An obscure apple of European origin. Historical records show this being sold by southern nurseries from 1824 to 1870.

HawaiiWhen at its prime, this is an exceedingly crisp apple.  It also is quite juicy with a very sweet flavor.  The scent and taste of pineapple has been repeatedly claimed for Hawaii.  I have had quite a few Hawaii apples and found that some seem to be missing the pineapple scent (although most have the same tang found in pineapples) but I also have tasted Hawaii apples that had a definite pineapple flavor. However, you may find the only thing tropical about this apple is its name! With or without the pineapple taste this apple has consistently ranked near the top of many unbiased taste tests.

History: Hawaii was developed in California in the 1940s and is likely a cross of Golden Delicious and Gravenstein.

KANDIL SINAP: This unusual apple has a very picturesque long narrow shape with a snow white flesh that is crisp but very tender, fine grained,  juicy and moderately sweet. Kandil Sinap means “sweet apple of Sinope” and it is apparently named after the Sinop peninsula in Turkey, which juts into the Black Sea.  This variety probably arose in the early 1800s and by 1890 was a favorite in Turkey.  Its parentage is unknown. Uses:  Fresh eating.

RedGold –  Medium, school box-sized apple with gorgeous rose color overall and russet dots. Its tender flesh is yellowish-white with wonderfully sweet flavor. Especially for those who prefer low acid apples.

History: RedGold is believed to be a volunteer cross of Red and Golden Delicious.  It was discovered in 1946 in Washington state.

Jonagored Jonagored is an early ripening strain of Jonagold.

History of Jonagored: Jonagored was discovered in 1980 by Mr. Morren in Belgium, and he began propagating them in 1981. The original Jonagored arose by accident, with one branch on a Jonagold tree giving fruits that seemed to ripen a few days before the regular Jonagold, and this branch was then propagated to give more of the same.

(FYI, In a poll of nineteen apple experts in nine countries, Jonagold scored as the overall favorite.  It is a sweet-tart dessert apple (as all top dessert apples normally are) and its creamy yellow flesh of marvelous flavor is noticeably crisp and juicy and dissolves into luscious liquid in the mouth.  Its flavor and aroma comes very close to Jonathan (which has more good old fashioned apple taste than any other apple). History of Jonagold: Jonagold is a relatively new apple being released in 1968 by New York State’s Geneva Station.  It is a Jonathan and Golden Delicious Cross.)

Jonalicious   — A cross between Jonathan and one of the Delicious apples (could be either Golden or Red although most experts lean toward Golden). This apple is crisp, juicy with a delightful pronounced tartness along with a definite hint of sweetness and lots of flavor. The primary problem with this variety is that it is a very shy bearer.

History: This apple was originally developed as a seedling in Abilene, Texas and is one of the Boss’ favorite fresh eating apples, although he hates that it seldom has a good crop and despite a good crop of most varieties of apples in 2013, there were very few Jonalicious!

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