[NAFEX] MonArk apple

Charlotte Shelton fruit at vintagevirginiaapples.com
Thu Jul 13 21:51:02 EDT 2006

We picked MonArk this week here (central Virginia)...it is probably
still our best flavored early apple.  I took a MonArk, a Gravenstein and
an Arkcharm into the office for tasting.  MonArk won the most votes,
probably because the texture was more crisp than the Gravenstein...the
Arkcharm was a bit unripe--quite tart, but it had decent
flavor...reminded my secretary of the green apples she ate as a child.
This was our first fruit and I will try it again in a week or so.  It
should be good for sauce, is another large red or red over green apple,
beautiful really.  It is also out of the now closed University of
Arkansas breeding program.  Gravenstein has wonderful flavor...we just
do not have much of a market for early apples in this country, it seems.
We are promoting MonArk for an early apple in our nursery because it is
fairly easy to grow, your troubles notwithstanding,Lucky, shows some
disease resistance and is truly good.  Jill Vorbeck touts its culinary
virtues--she brought a MonArk tart to a NAFEX meeting a couple of years
ago,  and it is truly divine in my mother's baked apple dishes.  It has
delightful complexity when cooked as well as being good for eating out
of hand.  

Charlotte Shelton
P.O. Box 210
North Garden, Virginia 22959

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lucky Pittman
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2006 3:24 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] MonArk apple

Finally got to eat my first MonArk apple - and it was as good as 
everyone had said it would be - best doggone early apple I ever ate, 
and I can imagine that it is one that probably would hold up under 
storage for a much longer time than the typical Yellow Transparent, 
Lodi, or Early Harvest.

I've been waiting a long time for this one - think I bought the tree 
from Classical Fruits in '98, and it had grown well, but about 3 or 4 
years ago, something happened to it - vole attack or something - when 
everything else was blooming/budding out, I noticed that the MonArk's 
twigs were starting to look shriveled, and there was no evidence of 
it budding out.
I collected a few scions from the least 'shriveled' branches and 
re-grafted it onto a new rootstock.  Hailstorm back in April beat 
almost every blossom or small fruit off of almost every tree in the 
orchard, as well as knocking off big chunks of bark from many limbs - 
but two MonArk fruit survived.   Passed the tree on my rounds through 
the orchard yesterday afternoon and noticed that big, (mostly)red 
apple hanging there - with minimal insect damage.
Firm, crisp, tart; very much to my liking.  Believe I'll have to 
graft a couple more of this one.

Here's what Charlotte, at Vintage Virginia Apples had written to me 
about her experience with MonArk:
"I have two MonArk trees that went in in 1998, bought from Ed
Fackler's Rocky Meadow.  We had about three apples in 2001 and perhaps a
peck and a half in 2002 which was a horrible year in just about every
here--no winter, early spring and bloom, late freeze, damp and drizzley
June followed by unrelenting drought and searing heat into September.
Apples were unripe on Monday and overdone by Thursday...one just wanted
cry.  But the MonArks were okay.  I don't think we picked them at the
optimal point, which was a real challenge this year and we are not very
experienced at this to boot, but they kept fairly well in cold storage
around 35-37 degrees for six to eight weeks or more.  They are a big red
apple, red over green really, and have a very fine flavor for an early
apple.  We have a small new upscale food market here to which I am
and I think they will be very well received there.  This and Pristine
our best flavored early apples thus far. "

Lucky Pittman
USDA Cold Zone 6
AHS Heat Zone 7
Hopkinsville, KY 

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