Papa Pea and I harvested all of our apples today, got them sorted and put in the root cellar for winter storage.
And what a perfect day for the task it was. Our nearly unbelievably, not-right-for-November weather continues. The temp went over 60° with lots of sunshine.
We have seven varieties of apple trees (Kathryn's Favorite, Honeycrisp, Grimes Golden, Regent, Fireside, Honeygold and Westfield See-No-Further) which gave us varying amounts of apples, but all in all the quantity was fantastic. Yes, it was a very good apple year.
Many people believe you cannot raise blemish-free apples without using pesticides and other potentially poisonous sprays. Seems you can. Our apples were raised without any sprays, mulched with organic compost and watered with adequate amounts of rain. And we certainly benefited.
Virtually the only apples that had any blemishes were the Honeygolds which is a shame because it's our sweetest (we think) eating apple. And the one from which we got the largest yield. (Two boxes of them are in the first picture of this post.)
The Honeycrisps were by far our biggest apples and the second heaviest producer. We've got several Honeycrisp dwarf trees which we planted last year (besides our larger, older Honeycrisp tree), and they bore their little hearts out this first year. We planted some Zestar dwarf trees also and I thought one of them had apples on it, but not so. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was another Honeycrisp.
A couple of the other varieties gave us large apples, too.
Even the ones that aren't as big are still beautiful looking fruit.
We sorted through them all before storing in the root cellar and have this many with bird pecks or bad spots in them that I'll have to make into applesauce PDQ. (Or maybe many apple pies!)
As mentioned above, this weather of ours is enabling us to keep pushing on outside projects much longer than we normally would. No doubt this is a good thing . . . but criminy! When does our long, slow, relaxing winter start?
A shot of the fourteen (out of the original fifteen -- we lost one) happy Muscovy ducks we got as little fuzz balls last spring. They're a laid back bunch just hanging out at the edge of the pond this afternoon, some taking a snooze with their heads tucked under a wing. We've made the decision which ones will stay as breeding stock and which ones will be
culled. Getting our chicken butchering done was a big relief, but we've still got the ducks and geese to do. Soon.
I pointed my camera out into the orchard of our bigger trees. Look at that green, green grass. No hard frost yet, warm temps and lots of moisture is keeping it looking and feeling more like September than November.
Secret agent lamb!
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