Skip to comments.10 pioneer-era apple varieties, thought extinct, found in Pacific Northwest
Posted on 04/15/2020 11:59:45 AM PDT by Artemis Webb
PORTLAND, Ore. A team of retirees who scour the remote ravines and windswept plains of the Pacific Northwest for long-forgotten pioneer orchards has rediscovered 10 apple varieties that were believed to be extinct the largest number ever unearthed in a single season by the nonprofit Lost Apple Project.
The Vietnam veteran and former FBI agent who make up the nonprofit recently learned of their tally from last falls apple sleuthing from expert botanists at the Temperate Orchard Conservancy in Oregon, where all the apples are sent for study and identification. The apples positively identified as previously lost were among hundreds of fruits collected in October and November from 140-year-old orchards tucked into small canyons or hidden in forests that have since grown up around them in rural Idaho and Washington state.
Each fall, Brandt and Benscoter spend countless hours and log hundreds of miles searching for ancient and often dying apple trees across the Pacific Northwest by truck, all-terrain vehicle and on foot. They collect hundreds of apples from long-abandoned orchards that they find using old maps, county fair records, newspaper clippings and nursery sales ledgers that can tell them which homesteader bought what apple tree and when the purchase happened.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
For your consideration Sir.
used to do a lot of hiking and would go through woods and run across really old homestead foundations and almost always had apple trees alongside the homes- probably some old varieties- but never thought to go there during apple season- so don’t know for sure-
I hope they still have some flavor. All of the apples in the grocery store are devoid of any good apple flavor these days.
There is nothing like going to the old orchard in Granville Mass and getting some apples and them stopping by the general store for some local cheese.
The stuff they pass for GMO fruit is crap these days.
There are a few places I photograph here in western Washington that have trees. Even the most gnarled, twisted abandoned trees have fruit. I am always amazed.
My Ma always bought red or yellow delicious, or Cortland, and we had some unknown really sour ones from our own tree, which were good for pies and sauce, with about equal amounts of sugar. But there was a tree on a neighboring farm that my Dad rented with just a basement left of any homestead, and those apples were amazing in the rare years there were any that matured to ripening. Late in adulthood I tried a Gala, and there it was! just like that old strange one. My favorite ever since.
1, 2C, 2E, 2GS, Lisa, Mac, ??
I have never been an aficionado of apples. However, growing up we had two apple trees at the run down old home we lived in. My brother and I would pick them clean each year. My mother would make pies with them. We never lacked for apple pie. Frankly my mom wasn’t a very good cook in most respects. But she had apple pie nailed (and fudge...damn she could make fudge).
Oh, and don’t ask me what kind of apples they were. They were green and they went into pies. That’s all I know. :)
During peak apple season several of our local grocery stores (Portland metro area!) Have all kinds of random apple varieties. Some are only available for a week or so. Pink flesh, yellow flesh, different kinds of baking apples etc. We seem to have choices with fresh fruit up here, pears, strawberries, cherries etc. Makes up for the lunacy of the I5 corridor, I guess. I hope the tastings don’t go away forever with COVID-19 protocols.
I had to roll your comment around in my slow head for a bit before I got it. :)
You should try the new Cosmic Crisp hybrid, expensive but worth every penny!!
Gala’s are good. Ambrosia’s are too.
If they were green and went into pies, they were probably “Granny Smith”.
Especially if they were quite tart.
Well, coat something in enough cinnamon and sugar and nothing is tart. But I’m sure you’re right. :)
I used to look for Winesap apples but now live in CA where they can’t be found- I guess. But I recently tried a new variety — Cosmic Crisp which is very good,
It has started to appear in CA stores this Fall. (2019)
You don't like apples the size of softballs?
Unscientifically (for me), it seems the larger the apple, the less taste they have.
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