I finally found out what kind of apple tree we have in the backyard. I've gotten many opinions on the matter but this one I trust. At Home Orchard Society'sAll About Fruit Show this weekend at the Washington County Fairplex in Hillsboro three people sniffed, sliced and asked questions about my sole remaining apple of the season from our backyard tree.
These apple detectives consulted old books, inspected the seeds and stem and asked me things such as -- when does the fruit usually ripen (September-October), how tall is the tree (40 feet give or take), how old is the tree (an arborist guessed it was 60-plus years old), how wide is the trunk (4 feet or so) and so on. It took awhile and I was happy that I got there early. The final verdict...GRAVENSTEIN!
You know it honestly doesn't make that much of a difference what we call it. That old gnarly tree in the backyard will still produce beautiful tart and sweet, big, great fresh or cooked apples. But I'm happy to finally be able to call it something other than the dumb name we have been using -- heritage red.
This was my first All About Fruit Show and I'll be back for more of this annual, weekend-long fall fruit extravaganza. It was quite the trek for a Saturday morning but this weekend was chock full already so I just added one more tasty event to the roster. This year Home Orchard Society members paid $4 (or $8 per family) to get in and non-members $6 (or $10 per family) and parking was free.
So what do you get for that small chunk of change? You get to sample all sorts of fruits and varieties of fruits you've never tried before (there are hundreds of varieties on zigzagging card tables). You get to learn all sorts of interesting things about fruit and fruit cultivation (I bet you didn't know that quince makes an excellent air freshener if you leave one in your glove box for up to 6 months. It doesn't rot and will just shrivel up and make your car smell good. I promise that most of what you learn isn't quite so random.) and sit in on lectures about edible gardening and more. It's all about geeking out over fruit and I loved it.
Check out all the interesting fruits I got to sample...