Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stamens akimbo

No longer a flower and not yet a fruit, may each proto-apple grow into fall's bounty.

This May 25 close up shows the same trees as this earlier view (May 13) at Nagog Hill Farm.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bloomin' wonderful

Apples bloom at Nagog Farm on May 13.

Where last year's blossoms came early, this year the orchards are just approaching peak by mid-May.

A week of cool wet weather has settled in over much of New England; let's hope the blossoms stick around long enough to let wind and bees do their thing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A postcard for Miss Baldwin

Elaine Luck, a collector and dealer of vintage postcards, sent me this delightful image and asked me a question about it that I could not answer.

Elaine wants to know the meaning of the card and the significance of "Miss Baldwin." She says the card, which was mailed in 1914, was part of a printed set of Halloween postcards.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Apples of April (2011)

I found myself leaning heavily on Empires this month, still in good form after half a year in cold storage.

The flavor intensities of these apples varied, depending I suppose on how they had been stored and handled.

Smartfresh, a widely used gas that blocks fruit-ripening (by suppressing ethylene), has the side effect of diluting flavor, though this wears off.

April is typically when the harvest in the Southern Hemisphere comes north. These apples are six months fresher than fall's crop, though both undergo cold storage in controlled atmospheres before they arrive in supermarkets here in North America.