Apples? Anyone

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by rancher hicks, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I wanted to put this here since I thought or think I'll get more responses to my question/questions.

    I have a new book about Apples, " The Apple Lovers Cook book". . It has recipes and lots of information about apples I didn't know. Such as:

    The USDA, did a catalog of Apples and the total varieties was 14,000. Can you believe it?

    That Apples are grown in Alaska. Anyone here from Alaska and grow apples?

    That if you grow a seed from a store apple it's fruit will be different? The only way to get a true apple tree of the variety is with grafting and/or controlled breeding.

    What I found really interesting is the genetics of Apples. "Therefore each seed in the very same apple could have a different father and thus , a unique genetic makeup". What this means to me is that each seed, in the same apple, would produce a new variety. I think that is so cool. As the book puts it , genetics in apples is "mind boggling".

    So why this posting? Well according to the book some varieties, it list just 59, are not available everywhere. In fact some are only grown by small farms and not available in stores. Some are privately own and licensed. Some can only be had by special order.

    What I'd like to know is without looking it up,

    1. What are the most common apple varieties in your area?

    2. Are there any you know are rarer to the rest of the state you live in?

    3. Do you grow apples? Do you have a small orchard? Do you grow any non common varieties? What can you tell me of your apple growing experience?

    The author lists some places that grow for special order and I do hope to look them up and perhaps order some for cooking in some of these recipes.
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You can only get a handful of varieties of tree from the commercial growers. If you want the rare varieties of trees, you have to order bench grafts or else scions and do your own grafting.

    Growing conditions make a huge difference to apples, so you will need varieties that like your growing conditions.

    Nick Botner has declared this is his last year of selling scions. He's got some extremely rare varieties. His place is for sale and all those trees are likely to be lost forever. The Home Orchard Society sent a crew down there and they grafted hundreds of varieties to move to a safe location, and hardly made a dent in it.

    It's rare for me to buy any apples from the store, but mostly I see Fuji, honey crisp, gala, yellow delicious, and granny smith at the market.

    Oh, incidentally, I know a guy who has gone around his area and collected scions from any wild seedling that produces good apples. He has dozens of unnamed varieties and he's not the only one who does it. So your number of 14.000 varieties is probably way low.
  3. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    My dad developed his own apple, even went as far as working with a lawyer on the patent. But it was too expensive to finish and too few people looking for that type of apple (he called it Santa Barbara Gold-a yellow apple that made good apple sauce)
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I grew up in Ketchikan Alaska. There were wild crab apples growing in the yard. The growing season was so short that the apples never got to the size of a dime, and were hard, sour and green.
    Dad used to pick them and make jelly. They were too small to individually pick so he would cook up the apples, twigs, leaves etc; and strain it. Made the best jelly.

    I have no idea about the common or less common apples here in western Washington, but imagine all of them would grow here.

    I have a Gravenstein and Granny Smith in my yard, both 40-50 years old. I get very few Gravensteins because I have no good polinator nearby. I do maybe get 12-20 a year. The Grannys, I get tons, before I started pruning maybe thousands, now maybe a hundred. The neighbors called them poison apples when I moved in, because they were so sour. I have found if I let the apples get hit with frost they sweeten up a bit and are edible.
    I get lots of scab and coddling moth, some apple maggot. I could spray but chemicals are expensive and I can buy all the apples I can eat for the cost of one application. So I only eat a few, and then only cut up.
    My next door neighbor has a Golden Delicious, in about the same shape as mine.

  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    That wasn't my number that was the USDA. I'm wondering whether to plant a few trees. I can get the most common, but there are some I'd like to try. We have at least two farms near us in Syracuse, but none that deal with some of the more rare types. Seems to me that apples are an unappreciated crop in this country. Why else would we import? That's just my op.

    I don't intend to get into grafting and all that but could use some advice on growing apples. How much space between trees, any variety that is not good for zone 5? Are dwarf trees ok? I'd like to plant, Pink Lady, Spigold, Braeburn, Westfield Seek no Further, Roxbury Russet, and/or Gravenstein. Not all these but these are the varieties I'm thinking of. Something good for pies, jellies, and sauces.

    If there were three you'd choose for your home garden what would they be?

    RMBGKY Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I have just started a small orchard of 23 apple, 10 peach and 10 plum. Each of the 43 a different variety. I got most of them from and There is apple math also.
    I also have sweet cherry, tart cherry, mulberry, fig, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and pear. I plan on adding 6-10 Asian Pear next spring.

    One really great book on apple growing is The Apple Grower by Michael Phillips.

    This will be the third growing season for 8 of the apple trees. I got 5-6 apples last year, I expect hopefully maybe a couple dozen this year. The one tree I am really anxious for is the Pixie Crunch. I had 1 apple on that tree last year and it was the best apple I have ever eaten. Also the Sweet 16, but I didn't have any of those last year. That apple is mentioned repeatedly in the book.

    The ubiquitous must have tree in an America orchard is the Golden Delicious here is a history lesson from the Vintage Virginia Apples
    Golden Delicious is also known as Yellow Delicious, with many strains, sports and cultivars. Second most popular apple in the United States, and appeared in 1912 on the farm of Anderson Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia. Resulted from a Grimes Golden pollinated by an unknown pollen parent, possibly Golden Reinette. Mullins sold the tree for $5000 in1914 to Stark Brothers Nursery in Missouri, and a steel cage was erected around it to prevent the theft of scionwood for propagation. Large and conic in shape, with golden-yellow skin, the flesh is firm, crisp, and juicy with a mild, sweet, and distinctive flavor. The skin is dry and bruises easily. Has a natural tendency to russet, a major concern in commercial production. The bark is a yellowish-olive in color and the folded leaves are waved with sharp serrations. If properly thinned, trees will bear young and annually, with 145 to 155 days from full bloom to maturity. Self-fertile, it is an excellent pollinator for other varieties. Thinning is necessary to produce large fruit. It ripens in September.
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    Here are three good apples to have growing in your garden: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp

    Granny Smith are tart green apples that are good for pies and cooking. They say that if you mix Granny Smith with a sweeter apple it makes a great apple pie.

    Golden Delicious are good for eating, and one of the best apples for baking.

    Honeycrisp come from a very hardy tree that produces red apples that are good for eating, as well as baking and apple sauce.

    Here is a website with information about apples for cooking.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  8. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Info from the AZFB is: currently, Arizona produces around 20 million pounds of apples per year, which is down from almost 100 million pounds per year until the early 2000's when a foreign investor bought up several orchards and then just let them rot and die, losing over 80% of our apple production. And China basically took away U.S. apple processing, so our state's apple production is really down compared to what it used to be. Some that grow here are the delicious, gala, fuji, pink lady, granny smith's and sun downer. Arizona grown apples are sweeter than just about any other states. Our granny smith's are uniquely sweet & tart. (paraphrased)

    The USA a whole grows and exports massive amounts of apples.

    If they'd do well for me and I had to choose only 3 I'd choose red, golden, and granny smith. But ya can't ever have enough variety so you should plant all you can. [​IMG]
  9. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas

    You live in a great apple growing area. I think that visiting some of the "living history" type farms in your area might give you some great ideas for apples. There are many types of apples, and the commercial apple market in the US has narrowed the available varieties to what were once considered "dessert" apples, that is the kind you eat out of hand. Many great varieties of apples are not in large production because of ripening cycles, and type of apple. Many baking apples aren't terribly sweet, and don't look great, but they taste great in pies, sauce and apple butter. Other kinds were grown for cider. By all accounts, some of the greatest eating apples are ones that don't ship well or don't produce well enough for huge markets.

    The last time we were in the northeast we took the kids to Old Sturbridge Village. There was a guy making barrels there that grew apples for his real job. I could have talked to the guy all day, he knew so much.

    I grew up in southeastern Alaska, and we had several different apple varieties that grew there. The most common was a yellow delicious type, and another was a very tart green baking apple that was harvested after the first frost. We also had the same wild crab apples that Imp mentioned.

    I love to read old orchard and apple descriptions. They make me drool.
  10. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    We put in 2 new ones last year, Beverly Hills and Pettengale. But I still want an Anna

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