hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Apples Falling Down

Each morning, the grass is now littered with apples that just betake themselves from their attachment to their respective trees.  We have about five apple trees, each with a somewhat different schedule and each with a different apple, most of them unrecognized by me.  Our most productive tree is a four-graft, and those apples I do know: transparent, jonagold, red delicious, and golden delicious.  But the rest?  Hard to tell.

This year, they are all behaving somewhat peculiarly.  They bloom roughly at the same time, but historically, their ripening time is quite different.  This year, though, four of them are ripening pretty much at once.  The transparents were only slightly ahead of the jonagolds, and the round red apples, which are usually in between those two have been ripening at the same time.  And their sizes are all weird.  The transparents are all stretched out and skinny, whereas the round red apples are round and red but tiny...barely 2" across, though they are usually more like 3.5 inches.  The jonagolds, too, are small this year, and another tree, which usually has large red and green apples this year has even tinier apples, all of which are falling off the tree before they ripen.

The red and golden delicious haven't ripened yet, which is typical, and the final tree, which normally ripens in November or even December has precious few apples of any size or color.  So, it's looking like a disappointing apple year in our yard anyway.  The transparents have provided us with apple pies and applesauce of fine quality, but the rest look like they may have a future mainly as apple juice.  I put a 5-gallon barrel out near the trees so that all the windfalls (even though there is no wind, I guess that's what you call them) can be easily gathered up and delivered to the apple juice machine.

Hard to be a farmer, especially if you're a farmer who doesn't really know much about the crops you are growing and harvesting.  I am, at best I fear, only an incidental farmer.

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