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Putting Up an Abundance of Apples

| 11/11/2015 10:44:00 AM

 4 half bushels

The Year of the Apple, and Why

This is undoubtedly the "year of the apple" in Connecticut, and I suspect in other states as well.  No matter how many bushels we pick and process, there are still more apples waiting in the trees and on the ground.  In the 24 years since planting our organic, mini-orchard we have never had an overly abundant season like this before!  I called the UCONN Extension office to ask why, and this is what was explained.  Warm, sunny spring weather encouraged the bees to actively pollinate the apple blossoms.  Then we had a dry summer with plenty of sunshiny days, which helped the fruit to grow well.  The dry weather also discouraged the growth of powdery mildew and other fungal infections.  In other words, perfect apple growing weather!

It was also explained that we should have culled 2/3 of the apples in early spring, leaving only the largest apple in each cluster.  Apparently, apples don't grow in the same spot on the branch two years in a row.  Practically every spot on every branch was laden with apples this summer, which unfortunately means there won't be many apples next season and the trees may be thrown into an every-other-year cycle of production.  More reason to put up as much as possible right now to carry us through a couple of years!Our Mini Orchard

Stocking Up

Here's the tally so far - Scroll down for the associated photos

23 quarts of dried apple rings, most flavored with ceylon cinnamon

30 pints of unsweetened applesauce: raspberry-apple, tart-apple, spiced-apple

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