Magnum Bonum is not a tart apple, it sounds like they were picked too early. Hunge, Gilpin and Yates are other good southern apples. The latter two are really late, to me those are the best ones as they ripen in the cool fall weather. I was picking Yates in November and they were still a bit early. The Limbertwigs are also worth looking in to, I haven’t had super great productivity so far but my experience is limited.
Rick, I from my experience Crimson Crisp may be a good choice for your operation. My CC tree produces a clean, pretty red apples that have a nice crisp texture. Another plus, I have had no FB problems so far with CC.
It may not be top 10 in taste but is easy to grow and will likely be easy for you to sell.
My favorite best tasting apples include a few that haven’t been mentioned here. In no particular order:
Hauer (not really top taste compared to others above in their season, but certainly a top one in February and March.)
Looks like I missed the obvious apple - Magnum Bonum! This apple originated in the county adjacent to mine so it should have been one of the first apples I tried.
Deleted, I see answer above.
This discussion is very timely for me, as I am just getting “into” Southern heirloom apples.
From reading all the old Southern heirloom apple descriptions, it seems like taste was a consideration, but usually not the primary one. Storage, ease of growing, utility (I.e could it be used for many purposes?) sound like they were just as Important.
For example, that old Southern standard, Horse. It sounds like the kind of Apple I would love to have if I were on a farm, trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. It makes vinegar, it makes cider, you can bake with it, make sauce with it, use it for fried apples, and also use it for fresh eating. Maybe it’s not outstanding at all those things, but it’s decent at all of them, and as a self-sufficient farmer, this apple would probably be one of the first I’d plant.
For what I am though, a backyard grower with ambitions to perhaps one day have a roadside fruit stand, it would probably be-maybe not “bad”-but certainly far from the first choice. It’s just not that good tasting.
I think, though, that almost every apple has it’s place and use.
I try to keep that in mind as I have just started researching Southern heirlooms. I don’t want to plant an apple I am disappointed with, for reasons not due to the apple, but because my expectations for it were beyond what the apple could do.
Hopefully that makes some sense. And thank you again for having these discussions. I learn so much.
Good to hear than CC do well in your climate. I have a few trees that do well.and wish I had more. Unfortunately, Its not vigorous in my area on B9. I hope to replace some of my poorer apple variety with CC on G935. What rootstock are your CC on?
Hauer Pippin is indeed very good from storage. It’s attractive and productive, too, at least in my orchard. I don’t know how well it does outside California, but it seems underappreciated here.
I agree- get same feeling that many attributes of old apples were important for nothing less than the farm family’s survival in hard times. Maybe that’s why the varieties they grew were burned into their memories- where they stood, what they were used for, what the neighbors grew, etc. When Tom Brown searches for lost rare old apples he sometimes gets fabulous specific leads from elderly folks whose memory had been written off as gone, shot, kaput.
Wow. Pomme Gris - the grey apple of Canada - still holding its own on your illustrious Top Ten apples list. I’m glad I just got a graft of it to take in my orchard!
Check in the mag ‘good fruit grower’ before you use 935.
Uh oh. What’s wrong with G.935? Do tell…
Following G935- just grafted a bunch on it.
See the article in tips of the day.
But I’m 400 entries behind in reading that thread!
Ack! I better get reading. I planted a couple G.935s this past year…
Might be nice to just get a summary re:935…
Thank you. Sounds like Honeycrisp is incompatible w/ G.935, but most other varieties have shown success. May or may not involve a virus. Hmmph…
Not only am I sure that these apples were indelibly planted in their heads by what the apples did for them, but fruit trees and memories-especially in childhood-seem to go hand in hand.
I still remember as a young girl my grandfather showing me his peach tree-which seemed impossibly gigantic in my mind-and seeing the almost ripe fruit on it and how the juice dripped down my chin and tasted like nothing I’ve eaten before or since. Or my grandmother’s crabapple tree, old and gnarled, with “spitter” fruit. It was at the bottom of a gentle slope, and the branches started low to the ground–just right for climbing. If you climbed a little of the way up when it was in blossom, the whole tree seemed to hum as the bumblebees did their work. It was like you were in a different world.
There’s something about people and fruit trees and history and memory that can’t be explained but just makes sense.
I’m always tempted to go back to my grandmother’s old house and see if that apple is still there-but I’m worried it won’t be, because it was old even when I was a kid. Besides, it still exists in my head, and that’s enough.
I wish I had enough room to grow standards-just some. My kids would be too old to enjoy them, but maybe my grandkids wouldn’t be be. Some day.
I noticed your Watsonville location and the fact that you grow around 20 acres of organic fruit. 20 acres is an impressive amount! Do you grow strawberries too?