Apple Answers

Apple Answers

What Apple varieties do you grow?

We have the familar favorites like MacIntosh, Cortland, Empire, Jonathan, Jonagold, Gala, Rome & Red Delicious.

We also grow special midwest varieties such as IdaRed, Connell Red, RedCort, Haralson, Prairie Spy, Northern Spy, NW Greening, and Wolf River.

Our farm has many unique heirloom apple varieties that are no longer commercially available. These antique apple trees bear limited quantities but are truly a special treat, each with its own story! We have Golden Russet, Cox Orange Pippen, Snow, Tolman Sweet, Sheepnose, Twenty Ounce, Pink Pearl, Akane, Duchess, Wealthy, Pitmason Pineapple, Winter Banana, Westfield Seek-no-further, Tompkin Co King, and many more. Come to our farm and you may find a new favorite apple!
Does Apple make good firewood?

You bet! Did you know applewood generates more heat than most every other kind of wood? In order of BTUs per cord; apple 24, red oak 21, maple 19, elm 17, hemlock 14, willow 12, poplar 12, and white pine 12. Apple wood chips are also a favorite for smoking meats because it adds a sweet flavor. You can buy a small bundle or a trailer load of our own apple wood we gather each year when we prune our trees. Stay warm and enjoy some apple smoked bacon!
How come you don’t have Granny Smith, Red Delicious, or Fuji Apples?

These varieties are often seen in supermarkets because they are easily imported from great distances. We select our apple varieties first on taste, then winter hardiness, not on their storage and shipping qualities like a large commercial orchard does. We also try to grow some unique varieties or old favorites which may be difficult to find in a grocery store.

Granny Smith is a very firm apple which resists bruising, and is grown on the west coast where they have a longer growing season. Red Delicious was developed for its uniform red color and fancy shape. Unfortunately it lacks in taste and texture. Fuji apple trees ripen very late in the season so they are grown in areas further South where there is less risk from frost.
How do you know when an apple is ripe?

These varieties are often seen in supermarkets because they are easily imported from great distances. We select our apple varieties first on taste, then winter hardiness, not on their storage and shipping qualities like a large commercial orchard does. We also try to grow some unique varieties or old favorites which may be difficult to find in a grocery store. Granny Smith is a very firm apple which resists bruising, and is grown on the west coast where they have a longer growing season. Red Delicious was developed for its uniform red color and fancy shape. Unfortunately it lacks in taste and texture. Fuji apple trees ripen very late in the season so they are grown in areas further South where there is less risk from frost.

Most apples you can tell when you bite into them, whether they are ripe. They will be juicy and crisp, yet not hard or starchy. Some apples are naturally more sweet or more tart, so the best way to know it is ripe is to check the seeds.

Cut the apple to the core to expose the seeds. The seeds will be white until the apple ripens when the seeds turn a dark brown color.

With some varieties the whole tree will ripen all at once within a few days and should be picked over a couple weeks or they will begin to go soft and drop from the tree. Other varieties have a long ripening period and continue to be excellent quality for many weeks.
What is an Antique apple?

Antique or Heirloom apples are varieties that were once popular in a specific local region many years ago, but now are no longer commercially available.

There are many hundreds of unique varieties of apples, each with their own special flavor, color, and growing habits. Over the last century many of these local favorites were lost as large commercial orchards planted huge numbers of ”improved” varieties and began shipping across the country to the major supermarket chains.

The Appleberry Farm has sourced some of these original old favorites from special nurseries who have preserved the original genetics of the variety.

Enjoy exploring the flavors of our Antique Apple varieties and the stories behind each one. We sell them by the pound so you can mix and match a sampler bag.
What makes your cider taste so good?

Appleberry Farm Cider is made fresh every week from handpicked apples that have been washed and graded. We never use windfalls or apples that have dropped on the ground. Our cider does not contain any preservatives and it is unpasteurized, so we recommend drinking it within a week or freeze it, and it will keep for months.

We use a special blend of apple varieties in each batch. Some varieties are sweeter or more tart and some are aromatic, so we carefully select the right mix to create a balanced delicious cider flavor. If you are a ”cider connoisseur” you will notice a slight shift in flavor as the apple harvest progresses. As different varieties become ripe throughout the harvest, often cider from an early season batch is more tart, and later batches are slightly sweeter.

Buy and freeze a half gallon each week and enjoy it all winter!
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