There haven’t been a lot of posts lately, because we’ve been pretty busy with trying to finish the house, and my architecture business has also been quite brisk this summer- you know the saying, “make hay while the sun shines.” This has left less time to pay attention to the farm tasks the way we’d like. This week, however, we were able to sample the fruits of our labor (literally) and have a private Apple Tasting.
Here we see several of the varieties that came out of our orchard, from left to right: green gage plum (OK, not an apple, but really tasty nonetheless), Chehalis, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, and Spitzenburg. Not pictured, we also had Cox’s Orange Pippin and Bramley Seedling. The results of the taste test were interesting, enjoyable, but inconclusive.
Chehalis: Green, firm texture, slightly tough skin. Emily: “Like a granny smith!” My favorite of the trial, I found it fulfilling and satisfying, a nice blend of tart and sweet. Also the largest of the bunch.
Gravenstein: Reg & green w/ orangeish tint- firm texture, moderately tough skin. Sweet, candylike flavor. Emily liked the flavor the best, and I agree, it had a lot of personality.
Honeycrisp: Red & green, firm texture, medium skin. Crisp and sweet, it totally lives up to its name. It’s our friend Adam’s favorite, and he donated the Honeycrisp trees several years ago. It will be nice next year when we have more than two of them, so we can send him some.
Spitzenburg: Red & green, firm, w/ tough skin. Very “bright” taste that is tart and sweet. We think this one might not have been quite ripe. It has a cute pink blush on the flesh inside. Supposedly susceptible to lots of apple diseases, it’s an old variety that Thomas Jefferson liked.
And we also had a really pleasant surprise to go with all of that. Years ago when we first planted the orchard, I installed three peach trees the would supposedly survive this climate. I didn’t really tell anyone, because I figured they’d laugh at me… but I knew that I’d get the last laugh if we ever had a really long summer. And this summer was just that. On the way out of the orchard, I happend to see a flash of peachy color out of the corner of my eye, very high in one of the Charlotte peach trees. This was the single end result, and it was glorious.