While there isn’t any precipitation echos on the GR radar, we may have a few brief showers today. The rest of this week will be rather cloudy with temperatures in the 50s and a few showers scattered in. It may be interesting to note that the Environment Canada (Canada’s NOAA) says that the Canadian winters are now averaging more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they did in 1948. That is a significant increase.
Yesterday we picked nearly all of our King David apples. This medium sized, richly flavored apple, was apparently found growing in a fence row in Washington County Arkansas around the time of the Spanish-American war. It is believed to have originated as a seedling from an Arkansas Black apple that was pollinated by a Jonathan. However, its winelike flavor causes some to believe it has a Winesap apple as one of its parents. Its dark-red skin seals in its cream-colored coarse flesh that reminds one of the flavorful Whitney Crab. This apple is a new favorite of Annemarie. We are selling this apple in quart containers.
Yesterday we also picked a good quantity of our family’s favorite apple–Jonagold. This year our Jonagold are large in size and of exceptional quantity.
Since we expected that rain that fell last night (which was about a third of an inch) we picked our field grown cherry tomatoes — both golden SunSugar and red Jasper (both are very sweet with SunSugar often being described as “candy sweet.” The Jasper are sweet with a stronger “tomato flavor” compared to the SunSugar). We now have a fairly good supply of these cherry tomatoes for so late in the season. Because of this we have a limited time special of three pints for $6.
When we open at 10AM we will also have slicing tomatoes, 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, Spartan, Jonathan, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Calville Blanc D’ Hiver, Hawaii and a sampling of Jonalicious. 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.
We have picked most of our Calville Blanc D’ Hiver apples. This old variety has more Vitamin C in its flesh than oranges. It also is recognized as the best winter apple there is for pies. A few years ago I received an email from someone who does the baking at a prestigious New York City restaurant asking about our Calville’s. Apparently the person read about them on our website and wanted to know if we could ship them around 10 bushels–price didn’t appear to be a problem. Sad to say, we had a small crop that year and wasn’t able to do that. We have made pies using Calville’s and found them even better tasting than when we used the “pie” (Northern Spy) apple. To be honest, I feel that Northern Spy is probably a seedling of the Calville. Northern Spy not only has about four times as much Vitamin C as Macs, but they look a bit like Calville’s only they are bigger. They also have a similar taste and, like Calville’s, you can taste the Vitamin C in them!
Limited Time Special — three pints of cherry tomatoes (red Jasper and/or SunSugar) for $6.
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 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!
Apple Descriptions of Some Of Our Unusual Varieties of Apples
(I am working on a small booklet describing all the apple varieties we grow. I hope to get the last part of the booklet out real soon–the one describing apples that ripen later than mid-September. I will wait a bit to write about the earlier varieties since they have already been sold. This booklet will describe the apple trees we actually have growing even if we only have one tree a certain variety. )
Calville Blanc D’Hiver – This is perhaps the most sought after of the antique/heirloom apples. This apple has many features that make it really special. For instance, its flesh has more vitamin C than an orange. In fact, it has so much of it you can taste it! Nevertheless, Calville Blanc is not unpleasantly tart; the pale yellow flesh is tender and lively on the tongue. It is one of our absolutely favorites for pies—only Gravenstein can top it and here in Michigan Gravenstein is solely a summer apple so it really isn’t a competitor.
History: Since it is such an old apple—in fact it was several centuries old when Thomas Jefferson planted his Calville’s apple trees – its history is long and colorful. It has been, and perhaps still is, the best—known dessert apple in France. Some of the famous French restaurants still offer it for those discriminating tastes. Robert Nitschke has spotted Calville in Claude Monet’s still life Apples and Grapes.
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.
***SOLD OUT*** 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.
Hawaii – When 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!