Monday, September 24, 2012

Swimmin' in Apples

Apples Near the Pond - not quite ready at the end of September
We are in full swing of apple harvest around here. 
With 12 trees producing, this will get interesting, i'm sure!
Now that i see how many apples one of our trees can produce, i will not hesitate to prune blossoms in the future, shrinking the harvest but hopefully increasing the size of the apples produced.
Apples from The Fancy Pasture...
still a little under ripe in August.
We started harvesting in late August when the apples started falling to the ground from the tree out in the nicely landscaped part of the front yard, aka The Fancy Pasture.  It was a little too soon, as most were still a little sour, even though red skinned.  Those have made the most delicious galettes!  Most of the apples that fell to the ground split open when they hit the gravel path under the tree, becoming havens for honey bees and ants.  Not the best of circumstances--note to self:  when we start planting trees on this farm, don't follow old owner's ways by planting fruit trees in "pathways"--make sure grass is under them so they have a chance at realising their potential in a pie filling, chuntey, or sauce once they fall.  We sent a majourity off for composting at the regional facility, but we were pleasantly surprised that a few people answered our free listing, picking up some for their critters' treats. :) 
One thing worth researching is how many apples can one really add to a home compost pile and still expect decent compost and not alcohol laced mud. :)
These trees at the end of our driveway are in dire need of some help.
We've talked about culling them, as they are planted in drainage pipe in gravel, poor things.
However, they've yielded a tasty McIntosh-type apple that my folks and Cookie Monster went
gaga over.
While the parentals were here the second week of September, they graciously helped start the harvest.
Pop backed his rig up to the trees and they got to work.
For the apples out of reach, Pop started shaking limbs.

Most the apples had some kind of scab or holes in them.
With recent studies linking BT spraying adding to honey bees plight, we are doubtful we'll spray our trees in the future. Needing to focus on soil health as a way of hopefully addressing the problem.
 So many apples had something wrong, that Cookie created a cheer to sing while picking, "One. Two. Three.  Say 'eww!' 1,2,3 Ewwwwwww!"
We moved on to the tree in The Fancy Pasture.

What a haul, eh?

Those marauding Stellar's Jays apparently weren't satisfied with stealing all our hazelnuts, as Pop reported that most of the beautiful ripe red apples on the upper branches had distinctive beak-like chunks taken out of them.  Baah!  I've noticed the past few weeks though hummingbirds are hanging around in the apple tree. I am glad we left the damaged apples, because it looks like they are harvesting some of the juices of those.
This tree in the chickens' pasture looks like it's almost ready to get unloaded at the end of September.  It's a very old tree...the trunk on it is enormous!
Hoping these fruits are viable.
 If not, it has made for a lovely display out of the dining room window.
This tree sports fruits that look like Asian pears.

We aren't certain what they are, because these are in a section of the pasture we haven't mowed all year. I'm too chicken to walk in there to harvest the fruits, because the rats that Rosie's been hunting down in that grass are the size of rabbits!  And frankly, that is terrifying to this city girl!
We'll have to devise a plan for keeping the grass down here so we can get to these next year.
At any rate, the biggest issue that needs addressing 'round these parts this time of year is collecting more apple recipes!!

1 comment:

  1. Looks wonderful! There's always cider, right? Yum!


Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!