Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Apple Scions Are Officially Ordered

Apple picking helpful hint:

It is really hard to pick apples with the neighbor's cows.

I finally ordered the scions yesterday. Mark Shepard of Forest Agriculture Enterprises in Viola, Wisconsin is our friend, permaculture resource, and source for trees & now apple scion. We have twenty-five trees to graft this spring & needed to make a decision on what varieties to grow. Mark knows what grows best in our climate from experimenting on his 100 acre permaculture farm. Here are the varieties we will graft and a little information about each one:

Liberty-ripens in October & is a good sauce apple & keeps for months in storage
Priscilla-ripens in August & is a desert-type apple
Spencer-ripens late October & is a good eating, pie & sauce apple
Golden Russet-ripens late October & is a good cider apple
Tolman Sweet-ripens late September & is good for cider & drying
Rhode Island Greening-ripens late October & is a good tart cooking apple
Zestar-ripens early September & is good for pies, baking, cider & sauce
We also ordered a couple crab apple trees scions for color & fruit.
Dolgo Crabapple-has huge white flowers, is a good pollinator & is a good jelly apple
Radiant" red flowering crab-has pink flowers, berries in the winter & is a good pollinator. The fruit is insignificant.

My mouth is watering as I type :-) This will give us apples that will ripen at different times & for different uses. We will have a lot of apples when they all start producing! Cider is always an option. There is a cider mill in Illinois we go to every year as much as possible. It's called Gould's Cider. Good old-fashioned non-pastuerized cider. They have over 400 trees on site & purchase apples from other growers (usually Wisconsin).

The Gould's have been friends of my family for years. I went there when I was little to watch them press the apples which is run by an old tractor.
We can always take our excess there or the Amish down the road also press apples. We have asked our kids to save wine bottles for us so we can process some hard cider too.

Speaking of old tractors...here is my daughter & son-in-law on their wedding day posing in front of his dad's restored tractor. It was his grandpa's first tractor on the farm.

So one more thing crossed of the long list of to-do's. It feels good. I decided yesterday was "apple day" & stuck to it. Today is therapy day again so I probably won't be doing much tonight. But that's okay. I'll go home & see if I can find another pint of frozen applesauce in the freezer...


The Blue Ridge Gal said...

What a grand wedding photo in front of the tractor... LOVE IT! Good luck with the apples.. lots of them grown here in our neck of the woods in Botetourt County, VA.

The Blue Ridge Gal

SkippyMom said...

My mouth was watering at that list too...I am so jealous.

The wedding pic' is so beautiful and it brought back wonderful memories of the restored tractors we used to see at the fair in Fredericksburg, VA years ago. Those men took their machinary seriously.

Thanks for sharing.

Anne Marie said...

When growing up in Michigan, we owned/operated an apple orchard...which by the way I haven't posted about...which I should eh? Anyhow- your variet sounds great and quite easy to care for organically if you are :)

Thanks for stopping by Na-Da Farm earlier...it's nice to meet you.

Rabbit Hill Farm said...

Wonderful. Those trees are going to be so lovely when they are blooming. Not to mention the apple pies!

fullfreezer said...

What a great list of apples. I do wish we had apple trees, although my parents have a small orchard on their farm where we get almost all of our apples.
I love the tractor wedding picture.

Kate said...

A scion order - how exciting. I'm growing some random apple seeds right now in hopes of trying my hand at grafting when the seedlings are large enough. The first thing I'm going to do is get a "copy" of the very old apple tree that came with our property. We don't know what it is, but it gives us great apples exceptionally late in the year. Good for cider, great for eating.

I'd also like to graft from my aunt's Ashmead's Kernel tree, which she says is her favorite eating apple. We'll see how it goes. I'm going to plant a dozen apple seeds (at least) each year, and hope I can pull off a few viable grafts over time.


Barb and Steve said...

Thanks everyone! Wish I could share all those apples with you.

Hot Belly Mama said...

Are the berries on that one crabapple edible? Or are they mainly for the birds?

Barb and Steve said...

Hot Belly Mama...I'll have to check on that for you. Everything I've found so far says they are "ornamental"