Saturday, November 7, 2009

Turbo-charged apple trees

Matt Gunderson, writing in last week's Boston Globe, describes an experiment in high-density apple farming at Shelburne Farm and ten other orchards in Massachusetts.

According to the UMass Extension Program, this technique entails using dwarf rootstock and training, rather than pruning, to direct tree vigor into the production of fruit rather than wood. Trees are small and close together, and very high yielding; furthermore they produce earlier, and yield larger fruit. Gunderson describes, for example,

a 1.5-pound honey crisp specimen - the size of a small pumpkin - from the new orchard.

Acromegalic Honeycrisps? I admit to mixed feelings about that.

But I am glad to see apple journalism in my newspaper, and this seems to be the season: the Globe also published a recipe for apple cider sorbet. Yum!

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