Some of the Varieties We Grow:
American Golden Russet
Russet is an early American apple, believed to have sprouted
from a seed of an English Russet. It was a commercially marketed
variety by the early 1800s and won a following. The yellow flesh
is crisp, fine-textured, and brightly flavorful, with a noticeable
sweetness that made it a traditional favorite for hard cider.
The apples can be used for cooking and drying. As with most
russets, the apples keep well, but they need humid storage if
they aren't to get soft under the skin.
Braeburn is a chance
seedling from New Zealand's South Island, introduced in 1952,
and is named after Braeburn Orchards, where it was first grown
commercially. It is generally thought to be a seedling of a
variety called Lady Hamilton. The other parent is not known
but is popularly believed to be Granny Smith. Uncut, Braeburn
has a faintly cidery perfume. The skin is thin and seems to
disappear in the mouth. The flesh is yellow-green to creamy
yellow, breaking and crisp in texture. Braeburn offers a complex,
sweet tart flavor, with a noticeably aromatic aftertaste.
Fuji was developed from American
parents, Ralls Genet and Red Delicious. Not a particularly gorgeous
variety, it signals the reemergence of taste and texture as
the main reasons for growing an apple. The cream-colored, firm,
fine-grained flesh seems something special from the first bite,
as it fills the mouth with sweetness and juice. In taste tests
Fuji consistently scores at or near the top, and among late-maturing
varieties it is a standout. Fuji is regarded as the best keeper
of any sweet variety, and the apples retain their toothsome
firmness for up to a year in refrigeration.
The cross of Jonathan
and Golden Delicious was released in 1968 and since then has
become extremely popular across Europe. With its aroma of Golden
Delicious and the sprightliness of Jonathan, Jonagold is an
excellent sweet-tart dessert apple. The texture of the creamy
yellow flesh is noticeably crisp and juicy. In a poll of nineteen
apple experts in nine countries, Jonagold scored as the overall
favorite. The fruit makes fair sauce and a good pie. If picked
on time, Jonagolds store fairly well.
Macoun has fans who hunt
roadside stands watch fall for a bushel or two. It is a prodigy
of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and was
introduced in 1923. The apple has some resemblance, in taste
and appearance, to its parent McIntosh (bred with Jersey Black)
but with a darker red over the underlying green and a flavor
that many prefer to Mac. The white flesh is firm, aromatic and
juicy. This is a good pie apple. The
stubby stem creates a propensity to drop off and hence is not
a favorite market apple.
is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo. It was developed
in Japan in the 1930s and arrived in the United States in the
late 1940s. The crisp, white flesh is juicy and has a touch
of tartness, making an excellent dessert apple. In taste tests
of Golden Delicious and apples descended from it, Mutsu scores
on top. It does not make a particularly diverting pie. Sauce
will have more flavor if peels are left on during cooking and
then separated out after. Mutsu is a worthwhile cider apple.
Because this is a late apple and a large apple, we dry some
A widely grown American heirloom apple variety. The fruit is
late ripening and stores well. The variety has been used as
a rootstock for other varieties, although it is not particularly
easy to grow. It's an old-fashioned variety that retains its
popularity. Parentage unknown. The apples are huge and are our
choice for drying. They bruise easily so we hand pick them,
preferably not in a snowstorm as we did this year, and before
the temperatures drop into the low 20s.
is a historically interesting apple, being probably the first
new variety to be developed as the result of a formal scientific
breeding program. It was created at the Canadian Apple Research
Station in Summerland, British Columbia in the 1920s, and is
a cross between McIntosh and Newtown Pippin both popular
North American apples of the time. Before this, most new varieties
were developed either by chance or by amateurs cross-pollinating
varieties and hoping for the best.
The ribbed, dark, good-looking fruit buffs nicely. Uncut, it
may have a sweet, candy-like aroma. The flesh is firm, crisp,
snow white and notably brisk in flavor and aroma. The flavor
does not hold up well when cooked and has to lean on a lemon
or two. Spartan is a small sweet apple, and a great favorite
with children. It is very much a "McIntosh" style
apple bright crimson skin and whiter-than-white flesh.
We leave ours on the tree as long as possible, until they are
crimson all over, as this allows the flavor to develop. Straight
from the tree the flesh is very crisp and juicy, but it softens
a bit within a week or so of picking although remaining
juicy. This is also a good variety for juicing the juice
color is not especially remarkable but the flavor is good. Spartan
is an excellent garden apple, being easy to grow, resistant
to scab, fairly resistant to mildew, and it crops reliably.