Friday, August 28, 2009


Gavenstein apples
waiting to be picked.

I think they have my name on them.

The workers have just pulled into the orchard across from our house to start picking the early varieties, and I couldn't be happier. While having them here means that for a few weeks I will loose some of my cherished privacy, it also means that good, fresh apples will soon be available, as the local apples that have been kept in cold storage over the winter are quickly deteriorating in quality. My daycare kiddies go through a lot of apples in the run of a week, but I have been lucky to be able to buy ten pound bags of Jona Gold apples for $6.00 at a local farm market. Unfortunately, the last time I stopped, they had run out, so I bought a smaller bag of Delicious, which looked good on the outside but were a really big disappointment on the inside, as they were mostly brown.

Sun sinking
a pile
apple trees.

There have been some big changes going on the last couple of years in the orchard across from us. Apparently, the old standard Gavenstein apple, which by the way is still one of my favorite apples, is no longer a viable market variety. People want the hoity toity, expensive Honey Crisp instead, so much so that the government has offered grants to the apple producers to replace existing orchards with new Honey Crisp trees. Our vista from our front window has changed dramatically as every second row of older apple trees has been cut down, the roots dug up and new seedling trees, spindly little things at best three feet tall, were planted. It is a sad sight indeed and a sad reflection on our society that a variety of apple, loved by generations before us, is being discarded because it is no longer "cool"to eat...just another example of our throw away society. I have a feeling that as soon as these new trees are large enough to produce fruit, the remaining Gravenstein trees will be cut down as well and replaced ...soon to become a thing of the past. What a waste!

There are piles of discarded apple trees, and stumps throughout the orchard.


  1. What a sad be discarded in such a way as if these trees had nevers erved a purpose. Reminds me of Shel Silverstein's book 'The Giving Tree'. Any chance you could use that wood for something???

  2. Oh that makes me sad! I've never even heard of a silly Honey Crisp. Give me back my Gravensteins! Cutting down a viable tree just seems like a sin to me.

  3. Oh fresh picked apples... how I miss them.

  4. How sad to lose the "old" apple varieties to the red shiny grocery store ones. The taste is sooooooo different :-(


  5. That is a shame. We do seem to be a "throwaway" society.

  6. So, I have to tell you that I'm not familiar with the Gavenstein. I've never tasted one and I've never seen it offered in Maryland or here in Western PA.

    And, I have to say I do like the Honey Crisps for eating but not certain how they'd be for cooking. The only problem with them for me is that they're always so much more expensive and I can't sanction the price.

    There are so many wonderful old varieties of produce that have fallen away because of trends in marketing and most particularly shipping ease.

    I'm glad their are heirloom seed groups out there who are salvaging some of these things for us.

    Wonder if the same will become of apples?

  7. Oh no! Gravenstein's are my all time favorites. People just don't understand them and how wonderful they are. The problem with gravenstein's is that they bruise too easily and thus not good for shipping. But I must have my Gravenstein fix every year at this time.