Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dan Bussey, appleist extraordinaire

I got nothin' today, so would like to share with you this linked interview with Dan Bussey from gardening writer Margaret Roach.

Bussey is producing an encyclopedia of some 16,000 apple varieties.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Government approves first GMO apples

Over objections from the apple industry, the U.S. government yesterday gave the green light to the first genetically engineered apples.

The gene-altered Arctic-brand apples are Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties that have been modified to resist browning when cut or bruised. Limited quantities could be brought to market as early as 2016.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Macoun vs. Rubyfrost smackdown

Today's head-to-head compares two apples, one well-established and the other very new, from one of the oldest large-scale apple-breeding program in the Americas.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A ruby in the frost

Rubyfrost, in some of the white stuff that we have so much of these days.
Just a year ago the only way I could sample Rubyfrost, a spanking new apple from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, was to have a friend send one to me.

Yet there it was last week in my local supermarket. These apples are from the 2014 harvest, which is a rapid deployment to market outside of the Empire State.

So how does Rubyfrost hold up in storage? Pretty well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Calibrating the stars

For the third February since I introduced my system of rating apples with stars (1, 2, or 3), I am making some adjustments.

I find it best to add and revise ratings once a year rather than continuously, and it give me something to do in the dark months.

Today is the astronomical heart of winter, exactly half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Apples missing and missed

Notwithstanding my cheerful posts about the many apples you can still buy in January: In any given year there will be some varieties that are not available.


This year, for instance, Macoun is scarce and often disappointing if available. These grow in the Northeast, which had an uneven harvest this fall.

Last year this great apple was good to eat (and available) through late March.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gradually, more January choices

Back in January of 2010 I found 16 different kinds of apples for sale in markets within 2 miles of my house.

Piñata (L) and Ambrosia
These included Piñata, then making its New England debut, and Ambrosia, which had done so the winter before.

Since then, growing sophistication about food in general and apples in particular has lured more choices into January markets. Some are new and others very old.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Only one orchard in the world grows this apple.

Chipper, named for an owner of the Locust Grove Fruit Farm, has a pedestrian appearance: Medium to large, slight ribbed and slightly conical, with a dull red blush of varying saturation that covers about half the pale-yellow green peel.

Although I bought this apple in late December, it is still reasonably firm, with a sweet cider aroma. Its calyx is open.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's in the bag

A bag of tiny organic Crimson Golds from my supermarket.
'Tis the season, apparently, for apples sold in bags. In addition to the above Crimson Golds, my local supermarket is also selling bags of Junami apples.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Black Twig

Black Twig, at last
Somehow when I reviewed Black Twig in 2008 I managed to lose my photo of the apple. Deleted it or something.