Saturday, January 16, 2016

'Enterprise' & 'GoldRush' Apples & 'Kanza' Pecans Keep All Winter

   We still have many 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.
   'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' originated from an apple breeding program that began in 1945 at University of Illinois.  A cool, very wet spring had produced an epidemic of apple scab disease, which had defoliated every apple tree in the university's orchard.  Then-graduate student Fred Hough found a few trees in a genetic study, crosses of 'Rome Beauty' apple with the Siberian crabapple, Malus floribunda, that still had their leaves.  These trees were healthy because they had inherited a gene for high resistance (immunity) to apple scab disease from the Siberian crabapple parent.  These trees' fruit also took after the Siberian crabapple parent, so they were tiny.
   Dr. Hough began an apple breeding program that would continue for the rest of his life and beyond.  He began backcrossing one of the scab-immune selections with commercial apple cultivars, to increase fruit size in the progeny.  He involved a plant pathologist from Purdue University in the work, and when he graduated with his Ph.D. from University of Illinois and took a job at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Rutgers also joined this cooperative apple breeding program.
   Advanced selections from this cooperative breeding program were tested as Co-op 1,  Co-op 2, etc.  The first varieties released in the 1970's, 'Prima' and 'Priscilla', were given names beginning with PRI, for Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois.  'Enterprise', released in 1994, had the PRI in the middle of the name.  Starting with 'GoldRush', also released in 1994, breeders started giving cultivars descriptive names and dropped the PRI.
   'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples, released 49 years after the scab-immune apple breeding program began, are also known for their great taste and excellent keeping ability in cold storage.  'Enterprise' apples keep well in our cooler or a fridge for 6 to 7 months, and 'GoldRush' apples keep well in our cooler or a fridge for 8 to 10 months.  So we'll have these apples for sale until June.
We still have many 'Enterprise' apples (front box),  'GoldRush' apples (second box), and cracked 'Kanza' pecans (in bags at back) for sale.
   Small amounts of harvested apples cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of apples costs $23.15 + tax ($1.15 per pound + tax), which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  I pack apples into two plastic bags per box, so you can get a mixed box of 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' and still get the 20-lb. discount.
   We also have many harvested 2nds apples, with small cracks, cork spots or other surface damage.  These are great for baking such as apple-pecan bread and pies, or making applesauce or apple butter.  Usually 90% to 98% of the fruit is still usable, but they're 69% the cost at $0.83 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs $15.74 + tax ($0.79 per pound + tax) , which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.
   If you buy 40 lbs. of 2nds apples, you save another $1.00 per box, for a total of $4.00 off the 2nds per-pound price, and a total of $20.00 off the per-pound price of #1 apples.  When you buy two boxes, each 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs just $14.82 + tax, so that's $29.64 + tax ($0.74 per pound + tax) for 40 lbs. of 2nds apples.
   We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $15.05 per 5-pound bag + tax.  My husband Bill cracks the pecans, blows off the loose shells, and then weighs the bags to 5 pounds.  So you get the equivalent of 6 pounds of in-shell pecans in each bag, and when you pick out the pecans, you get at least 3 pounds of nutmeats.  We should have cracked pecans for sale until mid-May.
   'Kanza' pecan is a USDA variety that was named by my husband Bill Reid, who is the director of Kansas State University's Pecan Experiment Field and the Extension Specialist on Pecans for the states of Kansas and Missouri.  All USDA pecan varieties are named after Native American tribes, because pecan is a native American crop.  Bill had tested this breeding selection, USDA 55-11-11, at Kansas State University's Pecan Experiment Field since 1981, and urged the USDA to release it and name it 'Kanza' after the Native American tribe for which the state of Kansas is named.  The USDA did so and released 'Kanza' in 1996.
   "'Kanza' pecan originated from a hand-pollinated cross between 'Major' and 'Shoshoni' made by Louis Romberg in 1955," Bill wrote on his blog,  "Louis was the USDA's first pecan breeder hired way back in 1931.  The objective in making a cross between a northern cultivar ('Major') and a large, thin-shelled cultivar of southern origins ('Shoshoni') was to develop a new pecan cultivar with large nut size, thin shell and early ripening.  'Kanza' has characteristics from both parents. 'Kanza' inherited the tear-drop shape, thin shell and excellent shelling ability from its 'Shoshoni' parent.  From its 'Major' parent, 'Kanza' inherited scab resistance, a thick firm husk, early ripening, and great kernel flavor."
    "'Kanza' is among the best shelling pecans that can be grown.  After cracking, 'Kanza' nuts produce over 95% intact kernel halves, if the cracker is set properly.  The kernels are golden in color and very attractive (photo at left).  Get a customer to taste a 'Kanza' kernel, and you'll have them asking for the nut by name from now on."