Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pine Farms Orchard

 Photos by Barry Wallace
Pick-your-own season comes to an end
You can still buy apples at Pine Farms Orchard but you won't be able to pick your own from the trees.   The trees have been picked bare.   The minature trees still have their leaves and make for a charming autumnal scene right now.   

Is there a more perfect name for an apple than 'Delicious'?

Here's an apple I had not heard of before: Sunrise.   There is a single row next to many rows of a traditional favourite, the McIntosh.   In fact, the Sunrise is a cross between McIntosh and Golden Delicious and an unnamed cultivar (X PCF-3-120), and was developed here in Ontario.   It is generally described as being crisp and juicy and having an excellent sweet-sour flavour.   Its colour is a sunrise.   It picks in late August and has a somewhat short storage and shelf life, so needs to be consumed in three weeks time.   Numerous other factors means it's commercial success is yet to be determined.   Meanwhile, the 'Ontario Apple Growers' at Vineland, Ontario, has stated that consumers can expect fewer Ontario apples on the market this fall, due to unfavourable weather during this past growing season.   A late May frost affected many Ontario apple-growing areas and the crop is estimated to be down 50% from normal years.   I asked the folks at Pine Farms about frost at their orchard and was told that 2015 was a year in a cycle that was to produce a bumper crop...and it did.   The early frost did cause some damage (scabbing, etc.) but even after the damaged apples were disposed of, there was still huge numbers of apples much so that the picking season lasted a month longer than usual.   This year made up for a disappointing 2014 crop, which while not affected by weather, was small because of the variation in annual crop cycles.
Please comment if you wish.
Barry Wallace

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