Friday, February 3, 2023

Star Bright


A field of stars in the night sky, with one bright star in the middle

I began to rate apples 10 years ago. My goal was to open an alternate "doorway" into my work, which had grown to include 125 apple reviews. 

It's now my habit to rate the prior year's apples annually, rather than on the fly. I do so at the dead center of winter (today!), when there is not so much going on here anyway.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Apple Notes from All Over

A wall of open book pages, type on type

Just a few things I've read lately:

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Email Subscription Is Back

Farmers are not idle in winter, and neither am I. We plan and we prune and we fix.

A pair of pruning shears cuts into a branch

Today I am pleased to announce the return of subscribe-by-email to Adam's Apples. Google dropped its built-in email service last summer.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Which Came First?


Consider the Cherryfield apple, also known as Collins in its early years.

This is a Maine variety that was also identified, tentatively, with Benton Red, another apple from the Pine Tree State.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Henderson Llewelling


A man in old fashioned clothing with a grey neck beard

If Sierra Beauty came from an apple seed discarded by a forty-miner, there’s a good chance he got that apple from [Henderson] Llewelling.

Grateful hat tip to John Henderson for his extended remarks on my review of the Sierra Beauty apple.

(Also for his neologistic "forty-miner.")

John says Llewellen contributed more to the North American apple industry than Johnny Appleseed.

The story follows, lightly edited (and with hyperlinks added by me).

Sunday, January 1, 2023


A gentleman in formal dress lifts a champaign glass (of cider!) and prepares to make a toast.

Not a bad year for an apple blog that was supposed to end in 2009!

(That was the original idea.)

I got to review 17 apples in 2022, in large part thanks to the generosity of readers.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Sierra Beauty

Very oblate apple, green with streaky red blush

I have three of these extremely flattened beauties from Mike, a reader in Southern California. They are green and blushed, with pronounced ribbing and short thick stems.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Three of These Things Are Not the Same

Three apples of differrent shapes and shades of red

Which of these apples

  • is a 150-year-old heirloom?
  • is from a local (Massachusetts) orchard?
  • is commonly sold in supermarkets and grocery stores across North America?

If you've been reading my blog you know the answer.

You also know that this is a trick question.

Friday, December 9, 2022


Two pale yellow-green apples with small spotty red blushes, one very oblate, the other squarish with deep creases caused by natural ribbing

Keim is German for "sprout." ¶ 

This apple proved unusual in several ways. ¶ 

You can see the very different shapes that are possible, one very oblate but only modestly ribbed, and the other a bit stocky and with ribbing so pronounced as to produce a distinct crease.

Despite the differences in shape, the apples share a small wash of red-orange blush over a very yellow spring green. The blush includes saturated spots of red pigment haphazardly at some of the lenticels.

Friday, December 2, 2022

On the road

A large red replica of an apple dwarfs two cars parked one on either side. White letters across the apple read "Clarkdale"

Back from a quick trip to the Pioneer Valley (Massachusetts), where I got a bag of Gold Rush, some interesting ciders (hard and sweet), and this photo.

Shown: The emblem of Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Not with a Bang

With tables of fruit in the background, a sign says "Last Day"
"Last day of market" in Davis Square, Somerville, today.

The American Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means that the urban markets here ended today.