In my opinion, Gravensteins are the perfect sweet tart apple. In our house when the Gravensteins were ready, it was all hands on deck. Mom would make and freeze apple sauce and pies, enough to feed our large family, for the entire year. I spent days coring and peeling apples and mixing sauce. By the end of apple season we'd have eaten our fill and swear we'd never touch another, but by the next year we'd be itching to get our hands on those red green beauties.
Our small world seemed to revolve around the apple. Our highway was named after the Gravenstein. Our spring festival was timed for the apple blossoms. If you were lucky enough, in summer, you could get a job sorting apples at the processor. The apple factory reeked of fermented apple and when you drove through town, your car would fill with the smell. When I think about my childhood, apples feature prominently.
Having lived in the Midwest for the past 15 years or so, I've been Gravenstein deprived. They aren't available locally due to their short shelf life and in my visits back to California, the timing has always been offpeak for the Gravs. Which is why, a few years ago, I hatched an idea. If I couldn't go to the Gravensteins, why couldn't they come to me?
Thanks to the internet, they did. I found a company that shipped bare root tree stock (www.willisorchards.com). I ordered my trees, along with companion apples for cross pollination, and we planted them. They are tolerating our cold winters pretty well.
This is the third installment of my Lessons Learned from the Garden front series, that I'm featuring during the month of June. Be sure to check back next week for another edition. You can also join us at fb.com/thepocketfarmer for daily farm and garden chats, or find us on Twitter @thepocketfarmer.com. Hope to see you there! :)