Apple harvest

Apple harvest

Yesterday, we harvested the rest of the apples from our little orchard. We now have boxes of Jonagolds, McIntoshes, Winesaps and Fujis in our chilly garage.

Some of you are probably aware of the fact that my husband Bill and I have been experimenting with different methods of growing our apples organically. We refuse to use those nasty chemical sprays that conventional orchardists have to use in order to thwart apple codling moth and a host of other fruit tree pests.

Refer to these posts (July 31 column and “Organic apple report” ) for the details on how we have been able to successfully accomplish this. For 2011, we have had about an 80% success rate — meaning 20% of the apples have little “surprises” in them. That’s not quite as good as last year (90% success rate) but we ran out of the little nylon covers and had to wait until more arrived in the mail. So the slight increase in codling moth larvae were probably my fault! I intend to be more organized about it next year.

But over all, we are very pleased with this year’s harvest. Some will be turned into a chunky applesauce (see today’s other post), lots will go toward pies and for snacking, more will go to friends and the last of them will go to the food bank. We are very blessed.