The apples are superabundant this year. Far more than last year.
“They say” that a good apple year means a hard winter. We shall see. It seemed true in 2014.Tree #5 has huge fruits on it that would rival any store bought Honeycrisp. So would the taste. Delicious.
These trees, while some have been released or had a little pruning, are for the most part still as wild as when we got here. Overgrown, diseased, crowded. Poor things. There’s too many. They don’t get plenty of attention. This tree, #47, is glorious! Huge, I can’t even get it all in a picture. The trunk has a mean lean and it looks like it’s nearly dead, but every year, it’s a wonder. Despite a 45˚ list it’s still tall, and crazy heavy with apples. It also has large fruit. I like this little tree. Not so little, but it has little pink-yellow fruit and in the two summers since it got released it has been rejuvenating itself. New low branches, and the fruit is coming in thicker and larger. I also don’t know what any of these heritage apples are. I get conflicting IDs.
The pigs are the chief beneficiaries of these riches. They get a bucket of windfalls every day. And the birds, and chickens, and squirrels, and chipmunks, and wasps. I have too much applesauce left over, so I’m not canning it this year, but hopefully, there will be cider:)
Every day, the first apple tree is dropping five gallons of apples. Dropping. That’s a fraction of how many are staying on the tree.
About half of them are split, and go to the pigs and hens. When I pick them up, wasps come tumbling out of the splits. I think they might get drunk on the spoiled apples. The wasps are luxuriating in the apple glut. Pretty soon, the pigs are gonna give me the Another apple? face too. The undamaged ones, I’m saucing, since this is a lovely sauce apple.
This is one of the dozen or so trees HW pruned in the spring, and this tree has responded exuberantly. Many of the apples are “store-sized” already (would expect a couple years pruning to come up to full size).
This is just the first tree to get ripe, of….63?
Haha. There are, at last count, 63 apple trees here, but only about a third of them look likely to bear apples, and most of them haven’t been pruned, so they have tight little stingy apples. If all goes well, we will have a fine amount of cider this year. Over time and annual pruning, more of these legacy apple trees will come back into production.
The apples are coming! One of the big, old, stately ancient apple trees (when we come up with the perfect name for these wizened empresses of apple trees, it will become the name of our farm) by the old farmhouse is loaded with fruit, weighing the branches down to the ground. I picked up about 5 gallons of apples just off the ground, lobbing many of them directly into the pig compound. Oink, oink. Happy pigs.
I numbered all the fruit trees, and tagged them all with numbers I cut out of yogourt tubs and lids.
This is so that I can keep notes about health, pruning, fruit, etc, variety! when we figure out what the heck any of them are… and generally talk about them with better reference points than “that tree that used to have the hawthorn beside it but we cut it down”.
“You mean the one by the big rock?”
“No, closer to the well.”
“Oh, by the trail, where the rhubarb is.”
“No on the other side.”
This can take a while.
It turns out we have more than 60 fruit trees, so the above scenario for describing them is not very practical. Numbers are a good idea.
All are in various ages, stages, and health, but there are far fewer seedlings among the total than I expected. Half a dozen at most. Most are in “dire emergency” and need release, pruning, and more.
But some are big, majestic beauties that have been quietly living away and making apples without us here, and will go right on doing so.