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Gone to seed

Of Nagog Hill Farm, a reader tells us ,  ❝ The property belongs to the Town of Littleton. The people who had been operating the orchard didn't renew the 30-year lease. The Town. . .has offered the property for lease or sale. ❞  (Photo:  Neglected apple trees at Nagog Hill Farm in Littleton, Massachusetts. ) 
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Sweet sixteen

In the first six months of this blog, which I started 16 years ago today , I tasted and described 44 different kinds of apples.  ¶  That is not an annual milestone I ever passed, nor hoped to, because back then every apple was new to me.  ¶  But last year came close, with 39 first-time varieties. That's owing to fall travel (to Quebec and England ) and to the kindness of fellow apple aficionados who shared some of their favorite apples with me.

Ça commence

Too green, too early, and doubtless too unripe, the very first apples of the 2024 harvest landed at Farmers Market in Arlington today.  ¶  And though I grouse about farmers who pick apples before their time, in this case I say, not a moment too soon .

Tired old apples

The apples in the supermarkets here were picked nearly a year ago.  ¶  And it shows.

Apple prices lead declines

The price of apples has come down by more than 13 percent from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  ¶  The US Council of Economic Advisers, which created the above chart from numbers compiled by the BLS, also noted that "the level of grocery prices is high relative to before the pandemic."  ¶ 

An orchard stands empty

Nobody is home at Nagog Hill Orchard yesterday.  ¶  I took refuge from a passing shower in the shed where Nagog Hill Orchard once sold its apples.

Breath of spring

Two blossoms cling to clay-splattered branches at Hutchins Farm in Concord, Massachusetts, yesterday.  ¶  In this part of New England, spring typically begins with weeks of chilly weather that holds the blooming trees suspended under glass.  ¶  That is followed by a sudden onset of days that are not merely warm but hot. The change is abrupt. The blossoms fall from the trees and boom, it's summer.