Monday, August 12, 2013

Apples In August

I tell you, it never occurred to me. 

We picked apples this weekend.  

Home grown apples. 

From my own backyard. 

I'm in shock.

Most apples in the US are grown in the northern states.  In the South, most are grown up in the mountains where it's cooler.  In any case, to me, apples are a September - October fruit.  Cool weather, frosty mornings = APPLES.

I've never grown apples before and it never occurred to me that since our trees bloomed earlier than the rest of the country that (correspondingly) the fruit would also be harvestable sooner that normal.

I'm not sure what made me wander over to the apple trees this weekend but I'm glad I did. 

The Fuji didn't have many apples to begin with but what was there was rotting with butterflies and various bugs feasting on them.  I was shocked.  Are the ripe already?  I let them be.

I then went over to the Gala tree which was absolutely LOADED with apples.  Most of them in were decent shape considering we didn't spray.  (Who could spray?  All it did was rain this Summer.)




I picked a couple off the tree and went into the house to check them out.  SM was there to help. 




Nice...Look at that white crispy flesh!  Crunchy and not overly sweet.  SM immediately said.  "Let's plant 5 more."




So we grabbed a basket and picked every single apple off that tree.  Some were buggy but most are good for applesauce or fresh eating if you peel them and cut away the questionable parts. 

Mmmm...Applesauce.

Which is actually funny because we're using up the last of my canned/frozen sauce this week.  Perfect timing. 

I have to work 6 days in a row this week so the saucing will commence next Sunday.  Until then, I separated the "eat them soon" blemished apples from the rest of the pack.

Considering this is the first year I've had fruit on my trees, I'm pretty pleased.  I need to consider what needs doing to these trees (besides aggressive pruning) to help get a decent fruit crop.  This is about as organic as you can get.  




Yes, they're spotted but I'm pretty impressed considering we did nothing other than prune them back in February.

Any tips or suggestions all you apple growers out there have to get a successful harvest would be greatly appreciated.

10 comments:

  1. Oh they look amazing! Do you know where you got your trees? I am looking for a good source.

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  2. Fabulous harvest! Our trees will need at least two more years before they start producing (though we've been stripping all flowers this year already). I know some folks use copper spray on trees to prevent fungus, but not sure what's the organic way to keep bugs out.

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  3. Another use for your apples: whole grain apple nut muffins! My guy loves them. I freeze them individually and then put them in a big plastic bag in the freezer. He takes them out and either waits for them to defrost for a mid-morning snack or puts them in the microwave. I also like Mulligatawny soup which has apples and curry. It sounds a bit odd but tastes great.

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  4. If your apples are like mine, the spots will wash off with a light scrubbing. Mine come off the tree with grey and black spots, but look really nice after a scrub.

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  5. What a wonderful apple harvest. Your apples look like ours. It is extremely difficult to grow blemish and fungus free apples without resorting to some sort of insect and disease control. As long as you don't mind the trimming. I always worry that I am eating a worm :) We had great success one year that we were able to keep up with a spray routine using Bonide fruit tree spray. Spraying every two weeks on a dry and wind free day is more difficult than you would think.

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  6. We gotten so used to thinking apples have to be picture perfect, but that isn't the way "natural" apples are. Yours may not look like something Martha Stewart would put in a bowl on her table, but you won't be ingesting poisonous sprays when you eat yours. Once they are in a pie or made into applesauce who cares if they are spotty.

    Then there are our 7 apple trees this year. Looks as though we'll be lucky to get a bushel in total from all of them combined. We did prune severely this early spring. Maybe too much? We're telling ourselves we'll have a HUGE crop next year. (Fingers crossed.)

    Anyway, congratulations on your first apple harvest!

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  7. Your apples look great to me! l didn't get one this year! Don't know what happened...the baby apples just fell off...buying from the farmers market this year..

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  8. Where did you get your trees from. I live in Charlotte, and would love to plant apple and pear trees.

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  9. We didn't get a SINGLE apple either. We have Arkansas Black, Golden Delicious and either a Fuji or a Gala. I LOVE the Fuji and Gala apples. Now if I could just get some to grow on our trees.

    Wish I had some apple tree wisdom for you, but we're new to this fruit tree thing and it seems you're doing better than we are anyhow :)

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  10. Tami, this is so exciting. And actually, it will be our first apple harvest as well. And our apples look just like yours. And we even have the same two varieties, Gala and Fuji!

    We did spray, but only once and even that was futile with all the rain. I'm thinking applesauce too, or apple butter. Or, if they're big enough, more frozen pies!

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