Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Update on the new fruit trees

Back in April I planted five new fruit trees up in the chicken pasture. Of those five, one failed to thrive and had to be replaced (the Methley Plum), three grew nicely but couldn't be bothered to blossom, and one gave me not only blossoms but fruit! Okay, actually, it gave me a fruit. One apple. One gloriously stained, bunged up apple. 

Introducing the Yellow Delicious ~
Ta da!
In comparison to a couple McIntosh apples, it was kind of puny. And a bit discolored.  But given that it grew about two feet up from the ground and managed to survive without being pecked by chickens, I think it looks pretty good.
Quite small, but not bad for a first apple
I wasn't at all sure when it should be harvested (can you call one apple a "harvest"?!?). I asked at our local orchard (when I was buying a half-bushel of their gorgeous apples) and they said this was a late fall harvest apple. So starting October I'd occasionally go up to the tree, gently grasp the apple, and give it a firm tug. I figured it'd pop off the tree when it was ripe. Yeah, not so much. On October 15 I decided that puppy was ripe enough and gave it much more than a firm tug. Harvested! I then scrubbed the heck out of it, sliced it up, and gave it a try. 

Pretty color inside
Fabulous. Much to my surprise it tasted exactly like a Yellow Delicious is supposed to taste. Firm flesh, sweet, good mouth feel. Success! Now let's hope next year's crop consists of enough apples that I can actually share. And while we're hoping, let's think good thoughts about the other trees in the pasture too! I'd love a Honeycrisp from my own garden.

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