Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Granny Smith and Pink Lady are ready to pick!

Granny Smith are a favorite for those who like tart apples!  People love them for pies, salads and are great for dipping in caramel.  They are a pretty good keeper too for those who store them.

Pink Lady has a tart-sweet flavor and crisp, firm flesh..  Pink Lady are the latest ripening apple we grow!  I think it is one of the most pretty with the almost hot pink coloring.  It is the best keeper out of all the winter apples we grow.  Pink Lady are great for eating, salads and baking.  Definitely check these out!

(Sorry for the photos, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures since we were planting blueberries!)

Other Apple Update:
We still have lots of everything left!! 
Still lots of Jonagold, Fuji, Braeburn, Melrose, Golden Delicious, Gold Rush and also some Red Delicious in the older section of the orchard.  

We are guessing we will be open up to around Thanksgiving so you have plenty of time to still come out.

Farm Happenings:
We planted our 2 acre blueberry field yesterday and it didn't even rain on us until the last 1/2 hour!!  We had a grass field that we have slowly converted to blueberries over the past 5 years.  This planting is the last one and the field is finally fully converted!!  Kind of exciting for us to reach that goal.

Here we are loading up the boxes of blueberry plants to take to the field.

 We have a long piece of PVC pipe that marks the distance between where each plant needs to go.  We just keep pulling the pipe down the whole row until the whole row is dug.

 Getting ready to lay the plants out.

 Whoops, not suppose to dump the box over!  All was ok though.  Only thing lost was a bit of time.

 We lay the plants by the holes, then we come back and plant them.  We had plenty of help so the whole process went fast.

 Then have to pick up all the plant sleeves.

 All finished!  
Since each section of the field is the same variety but planted different years, we name each section in the order of where it appears in the United States..  This last field was named "Liberty Virginia," in honor of my brother's wife.  She was born and raised there!  Our other fields are Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota...... and now Virginia.  Everyone that drives by asks, "What kind of variety is Liberty Oregon?."  hehe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Goldrush and Rome are now ready to pick.

Goldrush apples are a great apple for baking and fresh eating, but they are also known to be great for juice and one of the best ones for drying. 

A little more tart than sweet apple...but when I say tart don't think Granny Smith.  Think more of sweet but with a kick.
Also if you store apples, you want this one!  They will last a long time in storage, plus the apple gets even sweeter in storage but stays firm.  This apple for some reason doesn't turn brown as fast as other apples either so it is great for salads.

Grandpa and I were talking and he was wondering if you could use the juice of this apple, like you can lemon juice?  Sprinkle the the Goldrush juice on other apples, and maybe it would help the other apples not turn brown....totally hypothetical but something we'd like to try!

The Romes are a beautiful red apple!
Great for cooking, as they hold their shape, and the flavor also develops as it cooks.  If you want an apple to bake whole, this is the one.  
It is an ok eating apple with a mildly sweet flavor and it has a bit of a thicker skin.   They are a decent storing apple.

Still available:  Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Braeburn, Melrose, and Red Delicious (I was wrong about them being gone.  We have some in the older tree section).  There are a small amount of Ruby Jon left.  Enough for a few buckets.

The Granny Smith apples will soon be next, and the last but not least is Pink Lady.  Love those!  Just a note, Pink Lady looks ripe on the tree but they are still pretty sour.  Wait until the end of October and they will be sweeter. 

Really feeling thankful for this apple season.  The apple quality is just great this year and the weather really couldn't be better!  Plus I am really enjoying seeing all our wagons being used to haul apples and little kids.  Just looks so much fun to be a kid again.

I would REALLY, REALLY love to see what you all are creating with these apples when you get home.  Whether it's 50 jars of applesauce, pies, caramel apples or german apple pancakes,  please send pictures to and I would love to post your creations on the blog.  

Oh almost forgot!  My family and I went up to the Apple Tasting at Portland Nursery this past weekend.  They have it all next weekend too (Oct 19, 20,21st).  The apple tasting is free(50 varieties to try) and there is tons of other things to do to, including for the kids!  They could paint pumpkins, make apple cupcakes, a scavenger hunt and a scarecrow voting contest.  Plus they had apple desserts for sale, plants galore and you could buy a lot of the apples that you taste tested.  We had a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it.  The tasting is held at the Stark St location. 

Here are some pictures to give you an idea!

 The apple that was contributed from our farm!

Go check it out!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Braeburn and Fuji are ready!

Braeburn and Fuji are ready now!  
These both are a favorite of many and are great all-around apples!  They also both store well if kept refrigerated.
Braeburn is a firm apple that is great for eating out of hand (very crisp), and great for pies and baking.  They are also good for applesauce and salads.

Fuji (below) is great for eating and applesauce.  Also good for pies, baking, etc.  A very sweet apple.

 Other apples:  Lots of Jonagold and Golden Delicious still available.  
Some Ruby Jon and Melrose left....just walk to the south 1/4 of the row and there is lots down there.
Honeycrisp, Red Delicious and Gala are now done.

We also have some butternut squash for sale.  Just picked.  $4.00 each. (Ripe to eat now)

 And some Sweet Meat Squash!  ($4.00 each) Yum!  (Let sit for a month, then eat it....that means Thanksgiving!!!)

We also have some medium pumpkins for sale.  A steal of a deal at $3.00 each!

So I have been meaning to tell you all about this:  An apple peeler/corer.  This is a staple in my  house.  It makes preparing apples very easy.  I grew up with my mom having one so when I started my own household, I had to get one.  I found mine off the internet.  I had previously bought one with a suction cup on the bottom and didn't like it at all.  I recommend the clamp kind if you have a spot to put it.

 Then you pull off the apple and the core separates from it.

Anyone else doing any canning?

 And a few pictures of some apple orchard fun!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just a quick Honeycrisp update:

If you are hoping for Honeycrisp to pick, there is some out there but they are getting fewer and fewer.  I would guess that after this weekend that they will be completely gone.

But there are a ton of other apples ready right now.  This time of the season has the most apples ready at one time!  Check the previous post for a list of what is ready.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Melrose are ready!! 

Melrose are a great baking apple.  They keep their shape and flavor after baking .  It is a great apple for baking whole.  They are a nice eating apple too, especially if you let it sit for a bit after being picked.  Melrose are a cross between a Red Delicious and Jonathon apple.

We have a row of Melrose that is a few years old, and we have some scattered trees in the older portion of the orchard.  Ask about those if you'd like them.

 Liberty apples are ripe now too.  
We only have a small amount of these but they are worth mentioning.  They are a small apple but one of the sweetest I have ever tasted!  Really good eating apple.  I read that this is an apple that doen't keep it shape when baked in a pie, so if you like that, then try these.  Also I read that is one of the best for apple butter.

We have one row of these, and actually each tree in the row alternates between Honeycrisp and Liberty.  All the Honeycrisp on this row are gone now so it will be easy to identify the Liberty.


We also have some carts available for you to use to haul your buckets down the rows.   Feel free to use them!

Other apples update:
Still a decent amount of Honeycrisp and Gala.  Definitely necessary to go to the north far end of the orchard to find them, but there is plenty there.  Gala are getting a little soft.  Still great for applesauce and cooking but not as good anymore for fresh eating.
Still lots of Golden Delicous, Jonagold and Ruby Jon.
Some Red Delicious left.

 Other happenings:
I made some applesauce and apple crisp with Ruby Jon for the first time.  I think Ruby Jon is great for both.  I especially liked the applesauce.  It broke up easy for applesauce but seemed to keep it shape a bit for the apple crisp.


We have given a few apple tours this year to some schools in the area.  

Here is a quote from Shawna Mole, one of the teachers on the field trip:

    "Our school had a wonderful time at the apple orchard today! We enjoyed that your tour was very relevant to what out first graders were learning in class, and your willingness to let students explore and experience your farm hands-on was awesome! We will come back each year as long as you will have us! Thank you again for your excellent tour and your wonderful farm and family! Centennial Elementary School First Graders had a terrific experience! See you again next fall!"

This is late in coming but please meet Amanda and Stella!  They help run the apple orchard a few days a week.  If you ask, I think you can con her into giving you a gator ride!!

 I found this website about apple information.  It rates what people like best for applesauce, pies, etc.  We don't have some of the apples they talk about, but we have many of them.  You might find it interesting.  Take note that the dates they provide for when the apples are available may be different than for us in Oregon. This site is based out of Indiana.

If anyone has any good apple recipes they'd like to share, please post them in the comment section!  I am hoping to start a Recipe section!!

The weather continues to be beautiful.  Take advantage!