It looks like today we will see the sunrise and, unlike yesterday, most of the day will be dry. I still see a glimmer of Indian Summer in the distance–although now it doesn’t seem like it will get here for another week, perhaps starting on October 26. Well good things are worth waiting for. Right? I have to let you know, however, The NWS, Accuweather and all the TV meteorologists aren’t agreeing with me here. What do I see that they don’t? History, I guess. There is a sure bet, and we are all in agreement here, that we will shortly have our FIRST killing freeze. Most of the time this happens the scene is set for a warm-up. The reason this period of weather is called Indian Summer is that the Native Amercans told the first European settlers that after a freeze, and before winter set in, there was a period of a return to summer weather (sometimes a short period and other times rather long)–thus the name Indian Summer. The meteorological reason for this has to do with the fact that the first general freeze usually happens because of a large cold high from up north moves down into the central and south US. This high then often builds up and sits there, or moves slowly, and the clear skies allows the sun to warm up the ground. This warming causes a shift in the upper winds which doesn’t seem to be forecasted by most weather models. These shifts in upper winds then cause more warming, and this sustains them for awhile. BTW, it does look like that soon we will see a large cold high move down into the US and this is the reason for the forecasted freeze.
As I mentioned in my earlier posts our pepper field still looks like summer is still here so we want to get them all picked before the freeze. We started yesterday morning working on this and then it started to rain, which didn’t stop until around 6, so we quit. We hope to get the rest of them picked today.
When we open at 10AM we will 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 below), 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 samplings of Jonalicious, King David and SunCrisp. 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.
Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples $6 a half bushel
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 have completed working on a small booklet describing the fall and winter apple varieties we grow. We will have some copies at our stand available free of charge for those interested. Also, in a few days we will be putting the booklet into a pdf file available for download. )
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!
SunCrisp — Another brand new apple. This one comes from the New Jersey Apple Breeding Program. Has a sweet, spicy flavor and is highly rated in taste tests. SunCrisp seems to ripen sooner for us than mentioned in the literature. We are still learning here about SunCrisp apples.