Here on the farm, we have five varieties of apples-Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Jonagold, and Arkansas Blacks.
Seems like each year one variety takes the spotlight. This year it was Fuji.
Due to the draught, our apples were small. When I sold them at the Farmer's Market next to a man who had 5000 apple trees (we had 154), he would laugh and say my apples were too small. His fruit looked as if it came out of a catalog. Of course, it looked like that because it was sprayed every month, twelve months a year.
We are all natural. We use no sprays or fertilizers other than chicken, sheep, and cow manure.
The Farmer's Market is where I learned how few children and adults in a certain group eat fruit.
I took a wicker basket and filled it full of apples and pears. Every child who passed my truck, I offered a piece of fruit. At least two children a week ask - which is the apple and which is the pear? Kids were familiar with applesauce and apple pie, but not real apples. Most had never seen or eaten a pear. My goal the first year was to educate children about fruit. Now mind you, it wasn't all the kids. But the ones who didn't know fruit belonged to the parents who visited the pie lady, the cookie lady, and the guy with the honey sticks.
I was so upset about it I wrote a children's book about how apples are grown in an orchard, Diggitty Dog on the Farm.
Do you know stone fruits, such as peaches, plums, and nectarines
bloom first and then leaf out? Fruits like apples get their leaves first and then the blossoms. Many peach crops don't make it in the colder regions because of it. We only get a peach crop here at the farm about every five years.
There are so many stories to share about the farm. Come back again soon.
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