Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nodhead *

Another great name! Though apparently "Jewett Red" may sometimes be preferred.

Nodhead is roughly medium sized with pronounced ribs and a blush that runs from streaky (over greenish yellow) to crimson with deep purplish streaks (rather like the coloring of Blue Pearmain). The blush is accented with many small light lenticels.

The flesh is a tender coarse yellow and carries a good amount of juice. Nodhead is mild and mellow, not at all acid but also not overpoweringly sweet, and with enough range to be interesting. A mild old-style apple with cider and watermelon notes.

As "Jewett's Fine Red," Nodhead is described in 1859 (and is older). Gould Hill Orchard, which grew my Nodhead, says the apple originated in Hollis, New Hampshire. It does not appear to be grown outside of New England.

Update: According to the historical website of the Town of Hollis, this amiable apple, developed by Samuel Jewett, "was locally known as Nod-head from the fact that Jewett nodded his head when walking or talking."

(Thanks to Jewett's many times great grandson, Travis LeMaster, for bringing this resource to my attention.)

8 comments:

  1. Would you know where I can get Nodhead trees to plant? My ancestor, Samuel Jewett, was the namesake of this variety.

    http://tjlgenes.blogspot.com/2010/06/of-apples-and-such.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fedco fruit trees carries this apple. In Maine.

      Delete
  2. Travis, what a splendid way to remember your ancestor!

    One possible source for Nodhead scion wood is the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boyleston, Massachusetts.

    You would have to graft that onto rootstock--either arrange with a nursery, or do it yourself.

    I see there is more to know about Nodhead based on the links on Travis's blog--I might add some of that to my Nodhead review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nodhead scion available from Nick Botner, Spearheart Farm, 4015 Eagle Valley Road, Yoncalla, OR 97499. phone 541.849.2781

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fedco in Maine has scions of Nodhead available for $3.00 per stick. They've got quite an amazing variety of antique New England apples.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for that link!

    I get regular inquiries about heirloom scionwood, so will pass this along.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have just encountered this apple on an old farm on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, so it obviously was distributed outside Maine, (although, of course, there has long been a close connection between the Maritime provinces of Canada and the "Boston States".) It was known by the name, "Jewett's Red" locally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @David I am not surprised to learn that this variety has traveled in the last 200 years. It's not a great apple but it is pretty good.

      "Jewett Red" is for Samuel Jewett, he of the nodding heae. If you'll scan the other comments to this review you will find more to the story (from Jewett's descendent no less).

      Delete

Join the conversation! I'd love to know what you think.