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One of our favorite and most quintessential fall flavors is also one of the simplest: a fresh, crisp, NYS apple, of course!  Whatever variety you prefer, right now is the time they’re tastiest and most plentiful in Western NY.

Apple

An Apple A Day…

Apple farmers had a tough season with minimal harvest last year with that February thaw and re-freeze that ruined a vast majority of fruit buds in the region.  This year though, we are happy to report that despite that rainy period this June, this season has turned out great.  After a year off, the trees pushed themselves and produced large quantities of high-quality apples, so there should be plenty for pies, applesauce, cider, and of course just plain eating!  We all have our favorites, but if you want to try something new, check out this handy chart we discovered on Pinterest:

Apple Chart

Grow Your Own

Going apple picking and buying apples by the bushel at the market are great fall family activities, but if you’ve really got a thing for apples, growing them in your own backyard just makes sense.  Take this fall to eat plenty of them and figure out which apples you really love, then stop by the garden center in the spring to pick up a pair of trees.  Apples must be pollinated by a different variety to produce fruit, so be sure to plant an alternate variety near your favored variety (Cortland’s mid-season flower time makes it a good choice, or even a flowering crabapple will work), and the bees will do the rest.  It’s quite possible to get a couple of apples even in the first year, with good production within 2-3 years.

(Photo courtesy of http://howcanulikethat.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/bloomin-on-a-sunday-afternoon/)
(Photo courtesy of http://howcanulikethat.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/bloomin-on-a-sunday-afternoon/)

Tending to young growing fruit is a fantastic learning opportunity for kids, and the visual interest a fruit tree brings to a backyard landscape can’t be beat.  There are both tall-growing and compact varieties that will fit into established gardens, and since a tree can’t produce fruit without flowers, apple trees are lovely in springtime too.  So get your fill of all kinds of apples this fall, and then make an apple tree the apple of your (garden’s) eye next spring!


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