Hi, all! I’m hoping to tap into the collective wisdom of those familiar with antique and heritage apple varieties.
I’m helping out with the Lost Apple Project, Midwest Edition. Much of the searching gets done at a desk, so this is the time of year for it.
In this particular instance, I have tracked down an article from a local paper that lists the winner of the apple division at the County fair in 1902. The varieties listed in the winning entry were Blenheim, York Imperial, Bryant, and Nuby. Now, Blenheim and York Imperial are pretty obtainable, even now. So I’m focusing on the last two. The article in question also noted that the winner’s son worked for the National Department of Agriculture, and had sent him some scions.
(Note for the interested: I have tracked down the farm in question, and managed to speak with the owner of one of the parcels that it was divided into. Yes there are still some very old trees. Yes I’m invited to come check them out)
Bryant isn’t too terribly difficult to at least find mention of. Archive.org is my friend. It’s listed as a very late season, fine dessert quality apple that ripens late winter or even early Spring in Virginia.
Nuby, OTOH, I can find no mention of. There is, however, a Nuba IS listed in a compilation of all mentions of all apple varieties in all the literature available around the turn of the century. (I found a VERY useful compendium).
Here’s the tricky bit. It’s entirely possible that the reporter for the newspaper got it wrong and the variety was really Nuba. However, Nuba is described as an early season apple of good quality but not a great keeper.
SO - How would it have been possible for ONE County Fair entry in the middle of September to have included both of these varieties and still be of sufficient quality to win? My knee-jerk would be to assume that the summer apple would still be decent by then, but Bryant ought not to have been ripe, especially in Michigan.
Thoughts or advice?