Monday, September 12, 2016

Still Harvesting Early Apples & Asian Pears

   I'm still harvesting some early apple varieties and Asian pears.  I harvest all the early apple varieties, because fruit must be harvested promptly or they will drop when ripe.  'Jonafree' apples are mostly harvested now, and most have sold.
   I started harvesting 'Querina' apples a couple days ago and have some for sale, but I just planted the 'Querina' trees 5 years ago, so they aren't bearing too many apples yet.  Like all our apple varieties, 'Querina' is immune to apple scab disease, so we don't have to spray for that disease, so we can put on 1/3 fewer fungicide sprays than if we grew scab-susceptible apple varieties such as 'Jonathan'.  'Querina' tastes similar to 'Jonathan' but better, and is firmer.
I just planted 'Querina' trees (right) 5 years ago, so these young trees aren't bearing many apples yet.  'Enterprise' apples (left) will ripen mainly between Sept. 22 and Nov. 5.
   Today I started harvesting a very few 'Enterprise' apples.  Most 'Enterprise' apples will ripen between Sept. 22 and Nov. 5.  Our pick-your-own apple season won't start until very late Sept., and the best pick-your-own time is the entire month of Oct.
   I harvest all the pears and Asian pears, since they're tricky to pick and we need ladders to reach them.  (We do not ever allow customers to use ladders to pick fruit.)  Our European pear crop was greatly hurt by the 6 frosts during bloom, so we'll have very few European pears for sale this year, only about 5% of a full crop.
I'm still harvesting some 'Shinko' Asian pears.  The fruit remaining on the trees are all up high, so I took this photo from high on the ladder before picking some of these.
   The Asian pear crop survived the frosts pretty well, and we still have some for sale.  Asian pears stay firm and crunchy, are very sweet and juicy, and keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 months.
   I give taste samples of all our apple and pear varieties.  See the previous blog post for apple and pear prices.
   We have harvested apples and Asian pears for sale in late mornings and afternoons.  From Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, as the sidebar at left says, we're open our fall hours: Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. only.
   Many early mornings I apply herbicides around fruit plants, and I can't see or hear cars come in the driveway while I'm spraying.  Some weekday early mornings I'll deliver apples to schools, or may have a dentist appointment.  So if you want to come before 10 a.m., please phone 620-597-2450 the day before you come and leave a message saying the day and time you'll come, so I can look for you. Thanks.