Apples are one of the more time-consuming home garden fruits to grow, according to one of my favorite gardening podcasts, Gardening Conversations, coming from North Country Public Radio in Upstate New York. I download it through iTunes; their Jan. 19 podcast talked about apples (I listened to it this morning while walking).
But I also just received an e-mail notification of heirloom apple availability from Monticello's Center for Historic Plants for 'Esopus Spitzenburg', 'Albemarle Pippen, and 'Hewe's Crab Apple.' Hmmm.
And I've been eyeing the wonderful list of heirloom apples available at Big Horse Creek Farm in Ashe County, North Carolina. Some of the first things I planted as a VERY newbie gardener many years ago in SE Georgia (uh, not apple country) were apple trees - one of them, a Stark golden delicious, was just starting to bear fruit when we moved to South Carolina.
And, now being near apple country in the Piedmont, and having a bit of space in the mountains to plant a few trees -- I'm going to try some apples again. I've ordered some from Big Horse Creek Farm, to be grafted in March and ready to plant in fall. They include Sugarloaf, Carolina Pippin, Ashemeade's Kernel, and Cox Pippin. And maybe I should try the 'Esopus Spitzenburg,' in spite of the variety being a bit difficult. I had some in a heirloom apple sampler box once that were delicious.
And, I really LOVE apples.