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We offer several varieties of apples during the late summer and fall. At our home farm, we have planted orchards of Jonagolds, Rubinettes, Waltanas and Hudson’s Golden Gems. These were our favorites from our demonstration orchard at our leased Redman House farmland, where we grafted over 25 apple varieties several years ago. Most of the Redman orchard apples have only a few trees of each variety, so it is always a bit difficult to tell you exactly what kind you’ll be getting when we offer the apples from that farm.
The other varieties that we have planted here on our home farm are heirlooms–Rubinette, Waltana (named after a couple named Walt and Ana), and Hudson’s Golden Gem, which was first introduced in the 1930s. It is clear that the Golden Gem’s appearance alone has limited its popularity. While wholesale markets demand bright colors and shiny skins, the Golden Gem has a dull, rough, russetted skin and a brownish yellow color. Underneath that skin, however, is a sweet, crisp, pear-like flesh.
Sometimes, we offer ripe Granny Smith apples from Robin’s Nest Farm, the farm of Laura Kummerer (our grassland restorationist). Laura lived in our yurt and worked on restoring the grasslands here for several years. These apples are ripened on the tree longer, so that the apples develop a little blush and more sweetness than those picked completely green as is the standard practice with this variety. We think they’re really good this way, either for eating straight, pies, or apple sauce.
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