Sunday, October 23, 2011

Itinerant Workers

Okay, so only "itinerant" in the sense that we traveled to the front yard to make like apple pickers.

Last Wednesday afternoon (or was it Thursday?) we decided that, ready or not, we needed to harvest our apples. A hard frost was forecast for that night and we didn't want to chance losing the whole crop. (We had a temp of 26 degrees the next morning so it did get right down there.)

A couple of the varieties tasted ripe, but more of them didn't. Too bad, the time had come for all good apples to come inside to cold storage where Jack Frost couldn't find them.

Papa Pea, exhibiting the ever-adventuresome spirit he has, decided to leave a few apples on some of the trees we thought might need more time to ripen. He checked them out after the frost and they seem none the worse for their chilly experience. Since the apple trees still have virtually all their leaves yet, I wonder if the fruit was protected a bit by same?

This is just part of our harvest, but for a wonky growing season just past, we're thankful for all we get from the trees.

18 comments:

  1. Your apples look so perfect. Not a flaw on them. And the best cider was always from frost bitten apples. So they may be calling out to be smashed :)

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  2. Jane - Hubby does a good job of using biodynamic sprays (totally organic) on the trees and it pays off.

    Well, except for our Firesides. Don't know what happened there but the leaves look like they have some kind of a fungus and the few apples the tree had this year were a bit blemished. They also tasted very sour. I made a pie with them though that was WON-derful. Go figure.

    I'm going to go wash my feet now and trounce on some windfalls for cider!

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  3. Is "biodynamic sprays" a brand name?? Those are some nice looking apples!

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  4. my sister just told me that fact,that apples taste better after the 1st frost-after the second or third you got me!as to the ltinerant worker-I'm assuming your a illegal internet worker? looks like you got your week cut out for you in the apple fashion,have fun

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  5. dr momi - Thanks! Biodynamics is a sustainable method of organic farming and/or gardening which uses manures and composting, along with the use of herbal and mineral preparations as sprays while trying to balance the total interrelationship of soil, plants and animals. Strict biodynamic gardeners and farmers also use moon signs for planting, cultivating, harvesting, spraying, etc.!

    judy - Yup, prior to this past week we had had two frosts in the high 20s/low 30s that left a white coating of frost on roofs and skim ice on waterers. So we were thinking we were getting pretty close to picking time whether the apples seemed ripe or not.

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  6. I smell apple pie because that's the perfect way to use tart apples.

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  7. Sparkless - You are so right! I think I could eat apple pie many days in a row before getting tired of it!

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  8. So, what type of apples were in your apple cart? They do look perfect - and delicious.

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  9. Susan - Honey Gold, Kathryn's Favorite, Fireside, Regent, Keepsake and Prairie Spy. A couple of the containers held more than one variety.

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  10. They look wonderful, so big and unblemished...

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  11. Beautiful apples... We've been picking our two Golden Delicious, our Hubertson and our Bellflower. We had NO apples last year, so this year is a godsend, even tho they aren't pretty. I should talk to our local Master Gardener and find a spray that is organic and will work in our area. Doesn't it feel good to have those tucked away safe and sound.

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  12. Great harvest! I still can't believe you JUST got frozen out. It's been over a month for me and I'm further south. Wonky weather indeed!!

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  13. Mmmm, I like warm Dutch Apple pie with the crumples and cheese ... oh be still my heart.
    Hugs
    Yvette

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  14. Those apples look so good. Do you do anything special to keep the birds out of them?

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  15. JJ - Thank you, ma'am. The Honey Gold are the only really "big" ones . . . but at least they're bigger than crab apples which grow abundantly around here.

    Ruth - Yupper, it is nice to have some apple put by. I'll feel even better when I have most of them made into applesauce!

    Sue - In the 38 years we've lived up here, this is the very longest we've gone to our first really hard frost. What's happening?

    Thanks, Stephanie!

    Yvette - Isn't it strange how our preferences differ? I simply cannot eat warm pie. Ish! And cheese on pie? Gosh, no!

    odiie - Last year we had a terrible invasion of Blue Jays. We've never seen so many congregated in one spot. If we hadn't covered the trees with netting, we wouldn't have had one decent apple. So this year at the first sign of the Jays, out came the netting. Then . . . the Jays disappeared! (Guess we told them!) So to answer your question, yes we do have to cover the trees with bird netting. A pain to do, but necessary.

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  16. What a wonderful harvest! I'll bet your house smells really good.

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  17. JoyceP - Every time I walk into the area where the apples are stored, I'm just about overwhelmed with that WONDERFUL aroma!

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