Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Picking

So a week ago, we headed out to a co-worker's organic apple/pear/fruit orchard. He and his wife used to run a mail order nursery a while back, and he's an amazing resource on all things fruit. It was amazing to see what he built on his hilltop.

Northwestern Arkansas was at one point the heart of the nation's apple industry. At the start of the 20th century, there's account of nearly the whole county being bathed in white when the apples bloomed in the spring. Cider abounded, pigs gorged themselves on apple millings, and apples were packed into barrels and shipped all across the country.

Then the fruit industry packed up its bags to the Northwestern States, where the grass was greener...or at least fireblight and cedar apple rust free. The mills shut down, the factories closed, and the orchards were neglected and eventually cut. The ban on unpasterized cider in the 90s killed the last vestiges the local apple industry.

But these trees soldier on, and produce even through summers as tough as this years. I really need to plant some fruit trees...

Apples, Here we come!

Asian pears...the drought proof fruit
This is us - the Spencers

This is the usual course of family outings these days...

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