Apples and pear we've been eating

I’ll cut to the chase: if you can grow Dana’s Hovey and White Doyenne for pears, they are terrific. Warden Seckel makes a decent dessert pear. and Winter Nelis is more than serviceable, but not spectacular. We’ve gone through the first three already and are working on the last. All held up in the fridge in plastic bags. We’ve also been eating Golden Spice, which is quite OK - better in my mind than some claims that it’s better suited for perry rather than eating out of hand.

As for apples, we’ve eaten them as they came. State Fair, very decent, bright, juicy, crunchy, largish cell size, and really nice after a summer without homegrown. Ginger Gold, a real delight and something of a surprise. Loads of flavor, on the sweet side, smallish cells, a large apple with fine crunch and juiciness. Pixie Crunch was a nice small apple, and we still have a few in the fridge, but they didn’t stand out for us this year. They won’t go to waste but they won’t be missed.

But here’s the deal. We harvested Rubinette and Karmijn de Sonnaville along with minor numbers of Jonagold, Kidd’s Orange Red, Prairie Spy, and a couple of others. And a lot of Liberty. Decided to eat the Rubinette and Karmijn right off and let the Liberty ride -we’ll be working on those the rest of the winter. But we had quite a lot of Karmijn. That’s a good thing. They are so good that as long as we have them we probably won’t be eating any of the others. I want to get these in me before they lose their crunch and sharp edge, and the sharpness has faded slightly already. The Rubinette are delightful, but subtler, more understated than the Karmijn. Both are great, repeat great, apples, with Karmijn edging out Rubinette this year for us, at least.

We’ve also got a handful of Calville Blanc that I’m saving for pie, There are a few Goldrush that were picked too early, but the one sampler I had was extremely promising, and I hoping the three or four I still have will age well, as they are said to.


Can’t wait to hear about and see the pie!!!


Glad to hear Ginger Gold did well for you. One of my favorite early apples. Sansa is actually my new favorite the past 2 years. Surprised Ginger Gold survives in Western Montana. I would have thought the hardiness of it as more zone 5 than 4. Just thinking that as a friend of mine in NW Wisconsin could not get it to survive yet in the southern part of WI where I live is zone 5 it does well.

I ended up with about the same number of apples Fall 2021 as I did in 2020 (30 bushels). Honeycrisp was spectacular this year. Best flavor it ever had. Storage is a huge problem. We had a lot of rain in September and my apples all ripened about 7-12 days ahead of normal. They were fine when picked but many split on the bottoms after they were in cold storage about 2 weeks. I presume from all the rain we had at harvest time. Sad to say they are not keeping well. Instead of having apples til mid February I will need to use them or loose them by January 1st. We already made all the cider and applesauce we need. The thought that I will have to by apples after January 1st is frustrating. Even my Honeycrisp are not storing well.

Best one storing for me this year is Red Delicious. They are exceptional in flavor this year. Normally I will not eat them until after Thanksgiving. This year they were super sweet and had a wonderful flavor right off the tree. Some years I wonder why I keep the tree as not my favorite but glad I kept it this year.

All those Honeycrisp really made a wonderful cider. I do blend my varieties for cider making but find my cider is exceptionally sweet this year with a really good flavor. I truly believe all the honeycrisp I mixed in are the reason.

Let us know how your Calville Blanc pie turns out! Some hard cider place I stopped at told me Calville Blanc makes a great varietal hard cider. Sadly he had none to offer for sale as hoarding for his own supply (his trees just starting bearing fruit).


We actually appear to be more USDA Zone 5b than 4, so maybe that’s it. I’ve not had any problem with survival that I can put down to hardiness, although I had a Fuji that languished and acted blighty.