hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, October 18, 2010

Half an Apple, Better than None?

According to the news, it's a good apple crop this year, although less so in Washington State.  In fact, the crop here is likely to come in lower than predictions due to apples being small.  Which, apparently, is a result of colder weather and rain in September.  Also, it was pretty cold during spring bloom.

Here in Point Roberts, it has been considerably worse than just less than predicted, although I doubt that anyone of any importance was doing any predicting about our crop.  Our crop is, I am pretty sure, entirely a matter of personal apple trees for, more or less, personal use.  The original Icelandic settlers here planted lots of apple trees; so many that there must have been some for commercial use.  But the orchard tenders have moved on to other worlds and now there are just lots of untended apple trees in largely vacant lots with absentee owners of some sort.

In any case, and for whatever reason, there are lots of apple trees all around.  Ed and I have four apple trees (one of which is multi-grafted and has four different varieties, which might mean we have seven apple crops that can can fail).  Of the seven, this year's Transparent crop was small in quantity, but the right size.  The Jonagolds were right in quantity, but very small in individual volume.  The Red Delicious, which are ripening now, are tiny in number and small in size.  The Golden Delicious are not only small in number and size, but also seem to have some kind of internal brown fleck problem.  The Pippins, also ripening this month, are small in size but about average in quantity.  And the other two, whose varietal name I do not know:  well, one doesn't ripen until late November and never has much, and the other, which is an early russeted apple of some sort, set not one single fruit this year.  (The pippins in the picture at left are about 2 inches high, each, and with flaws.)

So, we are pretty much reduced to buying apples.  "What a revolting development this is!" as William Bendix used to say on The Life Of Riley, which was a very popular radio show in the Neolithic Era when I was growing up.

Worse yet, we are going to be pretty much, which is to say entirely reduced to buying apple juice.  For the first year since our friends George and Rose bartered a quilt for an apple press, we will not be invited to make apple juice with them (bring your own apples if you've got them), because nobody has any apples to bring.  Not only global warming but also no fresh apple juice.  Revolting doesn't even begin to cover the situation.