Although apples are a crop usually associated with the Fall, a few wonderful varieties start ripening up now. I picked the first of the Strawberry Parfait apples just yesterday, and they are fantastic. I want to share my favorites with you for our area here on the central California coast.
First a few announcements:
The farm stand will be open this Saturday, August 5th, from 10 -2!
Stop by for peaches, plums, a few first apples, fresh flowers and more. I am going to try to make this our regular hours for the next few weeks and months.
The You Pick Rose field is back open this Saturday
Make your reservations here for a big beautiful bucket of roses and other flower friends.
Workshop Sign Ups Coming Soon
We will be offering two Wreath Making workshops and two Hoshigaki workshops this Fall. I will announce dates and open up sign ups very soon.
Two other workshops I am considering adding are a Flower Crown workshop and a Rose Care workshop. Do these interest you? Please let me know!
Summer Apples for All
Here are my five favorite varieties of summer apples in our orchard. Summer apples are fantastic for our climate for a few reasons. They often require very little winter chill. They fruit so early in the season bugs, pests, drought and sun scald often don't have enough time to damage them. The only downside to summer apples is that they are generally not good storing varieties. They must be eaten within a few weeks of being harvested for peak flavor and texture.
All of these apples I acquired from Trees of Antiquity, and they have already opened orders for winter bare root planting. They sell out, so get your orders in now for the Winter bare root planting season.
I have no affiliation with this vendor, I just love them.
So without further ado, here are my five favorite summer apples.
Oh I get so excited to greet this first apple variety of the season. It's a special one. Not only does the flesh show a beautiful swirl of color, the flavor IS reminiscent of strawberries with lingering floral notes. With a glossy red skin, generous fruiting habit, and disease free leaves, this a great apple to grow at home.
SansaSansa apples are another sweet little treat early in the season. Red in color with yellow streaking, Sansa’s are sweet and juicy with a little tang to keep them interesting. Specialty Produce describes them as having notes of grapefruit, cane sugar, and acidity. Sansa are a cross of Akane and Gala, showing traits of both parents.
This apple is probably the most well known of the colored flesh varieties. An opalescent yellow skin hides the surprisingly pink flesh underneath. This is a sweet tart apple, that is great for fresh eating, but also really shines in baked concoctions and fresh salads.
The Gravenstein was discovered originally in Denmark in the 1669, but has long been considered the true Northern California apple. Many visitors to Sonoma county will have traveled along Gravenstein Highway, seeing old apple orchards along the roadside interspersed with redwood groves.
The Gravenstein comes in two colors, a more yellow standard and a red skinned sport that I grow. Regardless of the skin, the flesh is creamy, crisp, sweet and tart. This a versatile apple, as good for fresh eating as cooked applications.