Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Mystery Apple" Harvest

While we were away last week, my mom emailed me that apples were falling off my "mystery apple" tree at the back, and she picked up a few and made some applesauce with them.  So today, after recovering from my cold, and waiting for the rain (yay - that was welcomed after such a stretch of dry weather) to stop, I went out, and sure enough, there were quite a few apples on the ground.  So I picked those up, and picked any in the tree I could reach or pull into reach.  This was the best harvest yet from my "mystery" apple tree (when I bought it, it was unlabelled, so I'm not really sure what variety it is) :
Apple harvest.
Unfortunately, since my fruit trees are 100% organic and untreated, they are a bit scrappy :
...so I decided to make apple juice.  After 2 hours in the juicer, and a bit of sugar, I had a couple of liters of fresh apple juice in the fridge :
Fresh made apple juice.
...and from the mushy apples left behind in the juicer, I pressed those through a sieve, and got a similar quantity of applesauce :
All that's left of the apple harvest is one apple who looked too nice to juice, so will be eaten raw :
Organic apple from my garden, unknown variety.
I still have lots of apples and asian pears coming on my espalier trees.  I look forward to harvesting those soon, too.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

can I ask you how you care for your espalier apple tree? i am in the same climate as you and mine has been growing weakly for 5 years. every year the apples fall off or just don't form much. do you fertilize? what do you use? do you have to prune and what time of year do you prune? thanks!

Garden Lily said...

Anonymous - Sorry to hear your espalier has not been growing well. My experience has been the opposite, that they are growing vigorously, and so full of fruit I need to thin extensively. You can find all my posts about espalier here. I don't fertilize, but I have started with lots of good soil, and added more soil over the years as needed. That seems to be the key for my successful fruit trees. I prune the vertical growth several times per year, back to only a couple of leaves. When the flower buds form in spring, I prune back to the flowering / fruiting spurs, removing much of the other growth. If you visit the UBC Botanical Gardens, you will see what well-kept espalier trees look like, and they should be able to advise also. Good luck with it!

Sigrun said...

there are organic homemade recipes for dormant oil, which you spray on the tree before it leafs out and prevents most of the damage from insects.

Garden Lily said...

Sigrun - Thanks for the great advice. After reading about the dormant oil, I think I will give it a try next year. I have also started blasting the lichen from my trees with the water hose. With the neighbours' large trees gone from behind us (thanks to re-development), my fruit trees will get much more sun next year, and I expect they will become more healthy.

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