Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Apple Harvest

We held off harvesting our apples as long as possible so they had a chance to ripen as much as possible.  But today was now or never as the forecast is for a temperature in the low 20s overnight tonight.


It was a gray, chilly day so we bundled up for the work.  At least until we got going and warmed up a bit.


Chicken Mama offered to help and her assistance was much appreciated.


Tucker did what he could to help, too.

Unfortunately:

1)  We got only about two bushels total from our seven semi-dwarf trees.  This wasn't totally unexpected as the blossoms on the trees this spring were very, very sparse.  It's not that the blossoms froze . . . they just. never. appeared.  Few blossoms = few apples.

2)  None of the apples got a chance to mature enough to have good flavor.  Even though we had a long, warm fall which we were hoping would do the trick, all of the varieties were either tasteless . . . or sour and tasteless.  That blasted cold spring and early summer we had did a number on the apples.

I'm planning to make applesauce with most of the apples since they're not much good for eating out-of-hand.  If there's a chance they will make passable applesauce, and maybe be good in apple-ish desserts, I'll be happy.  Can't have a fantastic apple year every year, I guess.


And wouldn't ya know, most of the apples were beautiful in appearance this year.  Unblemished and lookin' good.  No, we don't spray; Mother Nature made these beauties.  

She just forgot to put the flavor in them.

25 comments:

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Wow- they sure are beautiful! Sigh. We can't wait until we can pick our own apples. Because of the crab apple debacle, we just planted 3 eating/storage apple trees and have 4 Cortlands on order to come in November. Do you think yours are so blemish-free because of the varieties or your climate or both? I'm afraid we won't be so lucky. Sorry about the lack of flavor- will they ripen up any more off the tree? Often we find our applesauce is better if we let them sit awhile (a week or so after getting them from the orchard). Happy saucing!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Those are some nice looking apples, hopefully next year you'll be able to get more than to bushels.

I know where I'm going........your making apple sauce, my favorite......I'll be right over :-)

Nancy said...

We didn't get any this year as Spring storms knocked off blossoms but we got a peck of hard pears. I am sure you will make a darn good sauce out of those good lookin apples.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Maybe add a little apple juice when you cook them .... or cinnamon

Carolyn said...

Hard apple cider?!

Ruth Dixon said...

Here in Oregon, our orchard over-produced. I've been picking and selling like crazy. First time in years it's been this good. I can send you some??

Tami said...

Those are beautiful. I hear ya on the tasteless apples. Ours were too. Applesauce here we come!

Kristina said...

Applesauce sounds good. I canned some last fall. Too bad about your harvest.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Our apples certainly aren't always so blemish-free. (Darn.) Don't know why they are this year.

Up here we've found it hard to get fully ripened apples and are seriously thinking of planting some dwarf trees thinking we might have better luck with them.

Yes, I'm gonna let these sit for a couple of weeks before turning them into applesauce so they have a chance to "get gooder." The first apple pie will come before that though I'm sure!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Each year seems to be different. We never know what to expect!

We eat a lot of applesauce, often just a little dish as dessert. I'll let you know when it's ready!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - Back when we had two large (and old!) pear trees, I used to can many quarts of them and we loved 'em as a nice dessert. Good luck with yours!

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - The apple juice is a good idea. Cinnamon always goes into our applesauce and even some cloves and a smidge of nutmeg or ginger when I'm feeling wild and crazy.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Ha! That's what our daughter suggested right away. (I think the two of you together would be dangerous.)

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - Hooray for your apple harvest! Ya know, that's a pet peeve of mine . . . the outlandish high price of postage these days . . . rest assured if I wouldn't have to take out a personal loan to pay for the shipping, I'd order a box from you! Enjoy yours, my friend.

Mama Pea said...

Tami - Yup, like I said in the post, if I can get some tasty applesauce out of the apples, I'll be happy. Hope you do, too!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I try to put up 24 quarts each year. That's a good amount for the two of us.

Lisa said...

Gosh, in your photo they 'look' gorgeous and delicious! Apple butter too?!

Becky said...

I do a lot of dehydrated apples and the flavor concentrates and works best in so many things but I have done apple butter too my easy oven recipe is frugalmeasures.blogspot.com just froze 15qts and I also made pies that I froze before baking in Iowa the apples were plentiful but small

Susan said...

Those ARE beautiful apples, Mama Pea! We had a bumper crop in our area and that was a bonus for me - all my neighbors and friends are trying to give away as many as possible!

Leigh said...

Wow, they're lovely! We had our first crop of apples this year. Well, I call it a crop, but it was enough to make applesauce and a couple apple pies. They weren't as pretty as yours and we did spray.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Call us crazy but neither one of us have ever been apple butter fans. :o(

Mama Pea said...

Becky - I had thought of dehydrating some of the apples . . . good to know the flavor would concentrate that way. Wish I had the freezer space for made up pies . . . so handy!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yay for upper NY state apples! Sounds as though you will be apple-rich this winter.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Did you plant dwarf trees or are these trees that were already on your acreage?

Stephanie Bateman said...

Oh darn, that stinks. Hopefully they "doctor" up good for sauce, with some seasonings and such.
Doesn't look like you have made it over to the new site, so just wanted to remind you to change my page on your list :) Trying to get the new page up and running, and really don't want to lose you!! You are my hero.