Thursday, May 28, 2015

New England apples from an expert in the field

Published last fall, Apples of New England is a rich guide to a topic close to my heart.

The small volume is somewhere between a coffee-table book, a primer, and a reference.

The author, Russell Steven Powell, is the former executive director of the New England Apple Association; he keeps his own apple blog. Documentation of each apple includes meticulous photos by Barr Lois Weeks, the current director.

In addition to a catalog of hundreds of varieties, Powell tells us some of the central stories about apples, with an emphasis on their New England roots in America.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring Gold

When I started this blog in 2008 it would never have occurred to me to hoard apples throughout the winter so that I could enjoy them in mid-May.

Fortunately, I've learned a thing or two since then.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Market prices make a hierarchy of apples

My own ratings notwithstanding, the market has spoken about the relative value of different apple varieties.

In the supermarket today, a few tried-and-true varieties are in the bargain bin, going for 99¢ per pound.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Will a chilly spring bring a bumper crop?

No blossoms yet! Though in 2010 trees flowered (above) on April 24.
It's been grey and cool in New England this month, an extension of an unusually harsh winter.

But Russell Powell, writing on his blog New England Apples, says that farmers are glad of the chill. An early spring

forces a premature bloom in the apple orchard, putting the delicate flowers and nascent apples at risk of frost damage for an extended period.

Colder weather delays the apple blossoms to a time when a killing frost is less likely.