It's been many years since I have gotten any fresh apples from my
grandparents' trees (or surrounding orchards), and I'd forgotten how
heavenly a tree-ripe red delicious apple could be. I had long chosen the
golds over the reds for various reasons, and enjoy the banana apple as
The first fall I had this house, the apple crop was abundant (I have
several trees) but the coddling moths loved the apples so it was quite a
chore to have any pie or sauce and I just didn't pick from the trees to
eat as I had in my childhood. Late November, there was one red still
clinging to the tree after some chilly nights. I picked it, it was
blemish free. As I bit into it, the memories of childhood apples were no
longer a memory . . . it was the most incredible apple I'd ever eaten. It
was very much the same with my first winter harvested carrots, soooo
sweet. It's likely the reason I leave my potatoes in the garden until
just before needing them to cook them; the chilly nights do add flavor
that just isn't there otherwise.
The thought of visiting different areas throughout the country at apple
harvest time is a wonderful idea. Knowing the difference between
tree-ripened and shipped, it would be wonderful to taste many new (and
old) varieties straight from the tree and fully ripe. If I had forgotten
the orange experience, I was reminded when I visited Maui in March . . .
that fruit doesn't taste that way here!!!
It's rather like that with tomatoes as well as green peppers. I can buy
the same varieties 1-1/5 miles from home at the farmers' market, some even
from the people from whom I bought my plants, and they are not as good as
my own. I'm not sure if it's home-grown or just that I'm exceptionally
lucky. Perhaps I'm blessed with above average growing conditions (soil,
critter population, etc.), but perhaps my respect for the soil and
critters that live there is a factor. Perhaps it's the bit of Oklahoma
Cherokee in me (from those who survived the Trail of Tears), but I truly
believe we must live in harmony with the earth. We humans are very new on
this planet and were given charge of it (according to Scripture), but it
seems that we, as a species, have not been very respectful of it in that
last few centuries, especially the last one. That lack of respect for the
planet and each other will be our undoing.
I'd ask you to send a couple to me, Bob, but know by the time they
arrived, they'd be only a delicious shadow of their outstanding selves.
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