Sunday, December 5, 2021

Hermann Mac

red streaky apple with brown splotches

The name "Hermann Mac" suggests the apple is is a sport of McIntosh. If so, it is one that ripens later than the original version.

This sample, from a home orchard, has superficial defects including sooty blotch and flyspeck. These are two wonderfully descriptive names for different fungi that live on the peel and do not affect eating quality.

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Oval apple with an orage-red blush marked by sooty blotch and other superficial defects

Today's apple is a "new" Northern Spy–type apple from Nova Scotia (get it?). It's one of the "Nova" series bred by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This Nova, from a home grower, exhibits both flyspeck (which has nothing to do with flies) and sooty blotch (which has nothing to do with soot) over an uneven orange-red blush and yellow-green peel. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Sign of the times

A sign by bins of apples invites us to "fill the bag" for $10 (approximately $1.50 per pound)
The sun sets on the last farmers market of the year in Davis Square, Somerville, where deals can be had.

The last market of the year closed cold but bright on the day before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Scott's Winter (Scott)

A tapered, oblate red apple in the sun

This medium-sized, slightly tapered apple has a rich (but nonetheless striped) red blush that covers most of an underlying yellow. 

Tiny light lenticels widely spaced, ribbing, and a bit of natual gloss, round out the classic look. Mine bears a sweet cidery aroma.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

November Sun

Apple trees bare of leaves in the sun
The apple trees bask in the low light at Hutchins Farm earlier today.

This week has been an apple hunt for me. I've picked up some Melrouge, Winesap, Blushing Golden, and Arkansas Black. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

"Henderson" Crabs

small orange crabapples hanging the sun

Random crabapples? You might think I would have done this before, but no. 

I do not know what this little apple may be, if it has a variety name. I just prefer to call it something other than "unknown crabapple 1"

Henderson is a personal nickname.

I shall be surprised if this is in any way good to eat. It may be a spitter. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Hunt. Gather.

A mosaic shows a man and a woman holding spears and dressed in animal skins as they carry a dead dear on a pole between them

Halloween marks the border between abundance and scarcity, between summer and winter, between the living and the dead.

Today we are well into hoarding time, scavanging time, pirate time, keeper time.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Reinette Clochard apple

Squat light-green apple with small delicate orange blush

Four years after I first had this elegant hobo of an apple, I have the opportunity to take a second bite.

I might learn something new, or at least have a very nice (two-star) snack.


These green apples are compact and oblate apples with just a little ribbing, medium sized. The stems are quite short and the peachy-orange blush is partial and translucent. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Mutsu vs. Shizuka smackdown

Two green apples

These Japanese apples have the same parents. How far does the family resemblence go?

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Tree-fresh Braeburn apples

Two red, pretty apples

I conclude my long deep dive into Braeburn with two examples bought at a local farmers market on October 20.

The project was inspired by a comment from a reader, who suggested that Braeburn was a fickle, variable apple that could not be relied upon to be the same from harvest to harvest or day to day.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Belmont farewell

Vegitables spread out benieth a tens, benieth gray skies

There is something a little forelorn about the last market of the year.