[NAFEX] Taste before planting Apple varities

Charles Paradise machelp at attglobal.net
Wed Mar 9 18:52:37 EST 2005

Bruce Hansen wrote:

> Charles:
> Have you grown Wolf River, Ark Black, Gala, Braeburn and Spitz?

My experience:
Wolf River:  tasted twice:  once in an assortment from Applesource [I think] and once at an apple day in Massachusetts [an apple that can pass out of existence with no loss, unless it grows better apples in another area]  A short list of large apples 10X better than Wolf:  Tsuru [forgive spelling], Danvers Sweet, 20oz Pippen.

Ark Black - again, I think in an applesource assortment...but it may have been from elsewhere.

Gala - know that tree well because my father planted one of 'em in 1970's and it grew beside the Northern Spy the Spy is still here.  Gala is a good growing, heavy-bearing tree that is capable of splitting and losing wood, that's what killed ours.  An OVERLY SWEET apple that keeps better than any apple of its season [ripen approx aug 24 here].  IT is recommended if you really know you like sweet apple.  And it does grow well as I say.

Spitz have tasted 2 or 3 times grown from Illinois and Massachusetts.   High flavor but a little too dry to be in the class of Northern Spy.  It might be better than spy if it had more juice.

If anyone is planting trees, they should be getting apple assortment boxes EVERY FALL, as from Applesource in Illinois.  [Do you have any clue how much pruning you're in for?  Well worth a buck to taste an apple before you even contemplate planting it]  And you should go to orchards and taste, taste taste and keep complete notes of your ratings.  And go to fairs where apples are available to taste.  And swap apples to taste with other NAFEX members.  Do everything you can to taste apples before you plant, and as you are also doing, get reputation for its growth ease.

AND take advantage of the many experts in apple varieties within NAFEX, we have a 94-year old, we have one who keeps complete computer database of all growth specifics as well as taste.  I am the least expert, but there are way too many apples being grown that are junk.   We also have apple selectors like Victoria Caron and apple breeders like Garfield Shults.  Have we tasted their apples?  We should.
Charlie Paradise

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