Saturday, September 29, 2018

Riverbelle (Sweet Riverbelle) *

From its sparse striped blush to its lobed ribbing, today's apple is visually distinctive.

Yellow apple with red stripes

Riverbelle's red streaks are broken and spread so thinly over the light yellow peel as to appear orange. The apple's tiny lenticel dots are easiest to spot in the unblushed peel, where they are green.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Apple tip o the year


Apples in wooden bins

There were 17 kinds of apples at farmers market on Saturday.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rich September

I am used to thinking of September as a kind of calm-before-the-storm hiatus of the fall parade of apples.

Wooden bins full of different kinds of apples

Today however I counted 17 different varieties at farmers market, including Ribston Pippin, Ashmead's Kernel, Wickson, and Westfield Seek-No-Further.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Zestar versus Elstar Smackdow

Two partially blushed apples

Two modern August apples, crisp and sweet. Zestar (L)—sometimes "Zest Star"—from Minnesota, and Elstar, from the Netherlands.

So, it's 'Star vs. 'Star. Which is best?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fancy a nice stale apple?

A wrinkled apple
Not this guy.
It's almost fall, so perhaps you are thinking about biting into an apple that has been lying around in storage for the last 12 months.

No? This time of year there's a good chance that the McIntoshs or Honeycrisps for sale at your supermarket are from last year's harvest.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Summer cornicopia

I am used to thinking of the early harvest as a sort of wasteland. A niche for a canny apple breeder to fill (though not, if you please, with another Honeycrisp wannabe).

Wooden bins of 4 early apples at farmers market

Yet by Labor Day I had already enjoyed 10 fresh local varieties.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Zestar versus Paula Red smackdown

Two apples side by side

This amiable paring came about by accident.

The two apples are both ripe in August but are very different. One is a sweet modern apple and the other is probably the best early Mac-style pick.