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Heritage Apples

Discussion in 'Gardening, House Plants, Orchards' started by Weedygarden, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. Jan 2, 2020 #1

    Weedygarden

    Weedygarden

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    https://applesearch.org/?fbclid=IwAR1NXhvjTCefnLIM5bKAm6q8ee1GdicQ6enNjYLfTBk3qpC5TIjyvFfk23Y

    Heritage Apples are the apples of our Grandparents and Great-grandparents. Their uses were varied--for drying, frying, fresh eating, Halloween treats, baking, brandy, cider (hard and sweet), vinegar, livestock feed, and much more. The diversity of their shapes, sizes, colors,textures, tastes and times of ripening was amazing. For every early farm family an extensive orchard was essential. As more and more land was settled, a well developed orchard was a sure sign that civilization had reached the American frontier.

    These old timey apples are part of our agricultural heritage, but they are rapidly being lost forever. The trees are being cut down and the older people who remember the apple names are passing away. The window to still find and save these wonderful apples is rapidly closing.

    Tom Brown of Clemmons, NC, became interested in finding and saving these apples in 1999. Some of the results from this effort are presented here. The apple trees are saved for future generations to enjoy by donations of scionwood to heritage apple nurseries and preservation orchards, plus trees are grafted for return to their original counties. To date over 1,000 apple varieties have been discovered, with an actual original tree being found in each case.
     
  2. Jan 2, 2020 #2

    Meerkat

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    Weedy down here we can't grow fruit trees one day tree is full of blooms,next day its frozen.
    We had two apple trees for about 10 years, one year we got enough to make an apple pie, call it ' one apple pie tree'.
     
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  3. Jan 2, 2020 #3

    Weedygarden

    Weedygarden

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    Well, that is a bummer! We have a similar problem in Colorado. A peach tree can be in full bloom, and then we have freezing weather. Pears seem to go through a freeze after the tree blooms, and then will bloom some more. I am not sure why, but pears seem to be heartier than some other fruit trees.
     
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  4. Jan 2, 2020 #4

    VThillman

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    One of my hillbilly friends from 7th grade on had a Queen Bess tree in his dooryard. I thought they were the best 'right off the tree' apples I had ever tasted. Of course there were 'jungle' apples in many places in the woods, but they were either bitter or tasteless.
     
  5. Jan 2, 2020 #5

    Weedygarden

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    Those apples might be bitter or tasteless, but they could be used for animal feed, as part of a blend in a cider or apple sauce, jam, or jelly.
     
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  6. Jan 2, 2020 #6

    Sentry18

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    We have a number of apples trees on our family farm, but sadly we lost the oldest & largest in a storm last year. I bet there have been a 5,000+ pies, crisps, cobblers, kuchen, and other deserts made from the fruit of those trees. And that's not counting how many have been eaten right off the branches.
     
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  7. Jan 2, 2020 #7

    VThillman

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    Those trees had ancestors that fed farm families before 1860, when most of Vermont's forest had been cut, and sheep farming was the state's main farm industry. After the war, many of the returning soldiers picked up their portable property and went West. The marginally profitable hill farms were abandoned, and the forest eventually came back, surrounding the apple trees.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2020 #8

    Patchouli

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    Subject change: what is a dooryard, @VThillman ? Is it the area on a property you'd see in front of a home, back of the home, or what?
     
  9. Jan 18, 2020 #9

    VThillman

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    Hey, thanks Patchouli! Never looked close at the term before. Dooryard isn't front yard, isn't back yard. It's the yard outside the door the occupants go in and out of most, the yard where friends park their 'wheels'. Where I have lived, it's the kitchen door, but it doesn't have to be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  10. Jan 18, 2020 #10

    Patchouli

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    Thanks, @VThillman I enjoy learning the little twists of common language in different areas of the U.S.
    That makes perfect sense! Dooryard.
     
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  11. Feb 10, 2020 #11

    LadyLocust

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    Have 4 apple trees up the river: crab apple, Macintosh, and 2 others I don't know the name of. One is a large sweet yellow/pink juicy apple. The other smaller not as sweet or juicy (but my fav.) red apple good for pies etc.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2020 #12

    VThillman

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    Sorry to add to the mystery . . . there are several varieties of crab apple.
    A good pie apple tree is a treasure. Macintosh - for instance - is a good pie apple only if picked just before it is ripe - a condition that lasts only a few days.
    My neighbor across the road during my childhood had an apple tree that produced very large, firm, red apples - that had no flavor at all. She never picked them, just let them drop. I asked her what their name was; she said 'wolf apple'. I think that meant that it was a crossbreed that didn't turn out well.
     
  13. Feb 11, 2020 #13

    Weedygarden

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    That would be a good filler apple to mix with others in a cider, apple sauce, or vinegar.

    Edit: could be used for animal food as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  14. Feb 11, 2020 #14

    VThillman

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    Yes! My uncle's hog would've loved 'em.
     
  15. Feb 11, 2020 #15

    Weedygarden

    Weedygarden

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    Horses probably would as well.
     
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  16. Feb 11, 2020 #16

    VThillman

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    Probably, but Uncle Earl was kinda particular what he fed his team. Told be more than once that "the hay don't get into the barn by itself". Sure, he was talking about my efforts, but the team was a way bigger part of the work than I was.
     
  17. Feb 11, 2020 #17

    LadyLocust

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    We get a grass fed beef each year. The folks we get it from have a small apple orchard. They get so many apples, any that are bruised or beaten get pitched over to the steers. Makes a pretty tasty steak :)
     

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