Thursday, January 31, 2019

A decade ago, I ordered a selection of heirloom apples from Big Horse Creek Farm in the mountains of North Carolina, after hearing the owner speak at the Organic Growers School in Asheville.  I was reminded of this today, receiving an email inquiry about whether I'd had experience of disease-resistance with Carolina Crispin, one of the varieties I'd ordered. 

Malus domestica
I don't know why my correspondent inquired -- he had a wku.edu email address, but he didn't explain his interest.

As it turned out, we didn't really have enough sun or appropriate conditions in Asheville to grow the saplings I ordered;  I ended up donating them to the SC Botanical Garden, where they did OK for awhile, but didn't really thrive.  One or two may still be in the Children's Garden.  The Piedmont of SC isn't really great apple growing territory.

In checking past posts, my search came up with this interesting group, including the one about the heirloom apples I'd bought, but also about saplings that came from another heirloom apple grower that were being planted at the Student Organic Farm as well as at the Garden a few years later.

I imagine that they haven't fared particularly well either;  generally, apple growers need to be up towards the Blue Ridge Escarpment or higher to be successful, although I note in one of my early posts that as a newbie gardener, I planted 2 apple trees in Statesboro, GA.  The Golden Delicious produced quite a few nice (if skin-mottled with some sort of spot) apples the year we left.  When peeled, they were delicious!

I've always loved apples and have been interested in their history and varieties. Here was a post I did about heirloom apples in Germany last September on my Places of the Spirit blog.

We have an old tree here in Quebec; I'll see what it does this summer along with the adjoning pear tree. Neither have enough sun to do well, I'd think, but a few apples and pears would be nice.

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