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Partyin' like it's 1699
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My family and I took a drive through a local park tonight and stopped at a wild apple tree that grows on the side of the road. We've visited this tree for a few years now, and the flavor and texture of its apples is simply fantastic! Last year was a bad year for the tree, it hardly produced and what was there was bug-ridden and rotten. This year the tree is dripping with ruby-red fruit. The flavor is like that of a tart Jonathan or Granny Smith, with the gritty texture of a Stayman-Winesap. The apples are small, just a little smaller than an average apricot. If you see an apple tree all by its lonesome along a country road, it's worth a stop to get some of these wonderful apples!
 

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Sounds like the antique heirloom trees I bought at Big Horse Creek Farm in North Carolina. Maybe this tree was planted by Johnny Appleseed, or is from an old farmstead that was in the area. My trees are only a couple of seasons old now and I just got fruit from them this year. I did pull it off to give the trees an opportunity to grow more though. I do have a golden delicious tree that is 5 yrs old now. Last year it had almost 100 apples, this year it has 1/2 as many. I've been told that every other year fruit trees have bumper crops.
I would recomend growing a tree or two if you have the space, dwarfs grow to 8' and are quite manageable. You can also buy root stock that has several varieties of apples grafted to it.
A local apple orchard owner told me about Big Horse Creek, they have over 300 varieties of apple trees that were taken from settlers farms in Appalachia and the Northeast. I chose 10 trees and 7 have survived, I am looking forward to making non hard cider and trying cooking with them.:2thumb:
My apples are home grown, some of the ones I see at the grocery store say they come from, South and Central America, or Australia. How fresh is this fruit, and how safe is it from chemicals, pesticides and fertilizer?
 

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If the apples come from Australia you probably don't have much to worry about. They Aussies have some pretty strict food safety regs......the unknown is what they are treated with prior to export or entry into the US. I have a few apple trees at my BOL . They must have been planted by the previous owner. What we do not gather falls to the ground and makes a great food source for the deer and wild pigs on our property.
 

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I sold my soul to the internet
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Sounds like this apple I found on the Century Farm Orchards:apple tree Nursery
Hewes Crab

Hewes Crab (Virgina Crab): This apple originated in Virginia, most likely during the early 1700’s. Its taste is unique. In most of the south, it is the finest cider apple. It makes a dry cider that is usually mixed with other varieties.Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson knew this apple’s qualities quite well. The fruit is very small, green with a dull red, and a flesh that is firm and acidic. Ripe in September.

They have southern apples, southern pears & figs.
I will check out the other site, thanks, sailaway!
 

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Oldfashionedmama, this made me think of my mothers and my recent idea to raid her neighbors unused crabapple tree to make our own pectin. The crabapples were not good apparently, they simply would not give and cook down to be able to mash them and get the pectin out. We had to do so much to get just a little from them, would have been better off going out and finding an old apple tree from one of the old farms left behind, there are tons around here.

Crabapples are not easy to break up to cook down, it was a huge pain.
 
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