Alan was installing some trees down the road from where I live and was kind enough to offer me a tour of a very old orchard and some apple picking.
Here’s Alan with some large, well branched plum trees.
Some of the trees in the orchard look very old. I think he mentioned that some of them were originally Baldwins and maybe some Macs. This tree has seen better days, but still seems pretty productive.
One of the ways that Alan has made his mark on the orchard is by grafting newer/better varieties like Goldrush, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Swaar, etc. In this pic, I think the original tree is Fallawater (yellow cooker), with Winesap(I think?) grafted on.
Here are 4 of the apples we picked. And 3 of my Goldrush for comparison. Interestingly, both his and the one on the far right (the only two I cut up so far), were almost identical brix. Both were in the 15-16% range. So, while mine are ugly and bug ridden, it is the same underlying fruit. I also didn’t thin enough this year, so mine are too small.
Aside from the Goldrush, I liked the Swaar, which was dense, with a decent amount of flavor (though not quite as intense as Goldrush). My daughter liked the Hudson’s Golden Gem best, even though it was starting to soften. A much more subdued flavor. Both were also in the 15-16% range, similar to the Goldrush. I though that the red one was a Winesap, but the taste makes me doubt it- good crunch, but only 9-12% brix, and without much flavor.
I shared a few with coworkers and was surprised when one liked a somewhat soft Spigold (I think) over Goldrush. Others (more properly ) were impressed with Goldrush.