One of the things I’ve been checking every morning of late, is how the crabapples are doing.
In the row of trees by the spruce grove, there are really just two trees that we can use. The others have such small apples, they’ll be left for the birds and the deer.
One of these two trees gets such bright red apples!
There are lots of them, too. I have actually thinned them, and with this tree, the easiest way to do that is just grab a branch and shake. They fall off a lot easier than the other trees!
This tree produces remarkably sweet apples. Last year, oddly, by the time we went to pick the apples, most of them had disappeared. I wasn’t even seeing many on the ground. Very strange, considering how full of apples it was, just the day before! Anyhow, I used them to make crabapple cider vinegar. You can read how that went in parts one, two and three of the process. I want to do this again, but this time, we’ll be using an airlock! Using a coffee filter was messy, and attracted fruit flies. We still don’t have fermentation weights, but we’ll figure something out.
The other tree in this row surprised me, last year. I would taste the apples from different trees to check their ripeness, and this one was… well, pretty awful tasting. We gathered what we could from the other trees, but left this one.
Then my mother insisted I bring her apples from the farm. I told here there weren’t many left, and the ones that were left didn’t taste good, but she said she would just be cooking them down and adding sugar, anyhow, so go ahead and bring them to her.
Much to my surprise, the apples actually tasted really good! They simply needed a lot more time to ripen, compared to the others.
This year, we cleaned out the dead part in the middle, and the remaining parts seem to be appreciating this.
Some of the apples are nearly 3x the size of the red ones on the other tree!
With the fungal disease attacking the row of crabapple trees, I would happily get rid of all the others, if it means saving these two trees.
There is one other crabapple tree, next to the old compost pile, that is ripening some pretty big apples. It should be ready to harvest soon, I think.
We should have lots of apples to make things with this year.
Maybe even enough try making some hard crabapple cider! 🙂
I think it’s time to visit the brewery supply place in town. I’m starting to think that the 4 airlocks we have now are not going to be enough. Especially since we’ll be making gallon batches of mead, soon!