|Apple yields rebound|
|Saturday, September 28, 2013 12:10 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Van Wert County OSU Extension Educator Dr. Curtis Young said this year’s weather promoted lots of good quality apples. There was no hard late spring frost to detour blooms and adequate water throughout the season.
“During the five-week period when the rain shut off, the apples established and the dry season sweetened them up,” Young detailed.
Young said if people are looking for a tart apple, try the McIntosh; and if they enjoy something sweeter, the Gala and Honeycrisp apple will delight those taste buds.
“Of course, it’s a preference,” Young stated. “In terms of taste, Galas are just ‘primo’.”
The tremendous fruit set — five or six apples per node brought on by the ideal weather — had to be thinned by hand clipping all but one or two apples from the nodes of newer trellised varieties or by chemical or mechanical thinning of the fruit on larger, older trees.
“The size of the apples are determined by the orchard,” Young explained. “ The more fruit per node that is permitted to mature, the smaller the apple.”
Young explained some of the earliest apples are picked in July and harvesting then progresses into August and September.
“Cider is made from a combination of apples,” Young explained. “Typically, it’s the fruit that would not sell as a table fruit and might be small in size, have an odd shape, etc.”
Young clarified that no apples are picked off the ground to use in the making of cider.
When apples come into season, American pioneer nurseryman Johnny Appleseed [John Chapman] is at the forefront of many people’s minds. He is the legendary man who spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, planting seeds and propagating his precious trees around the country so that people could enjoy apples as they moved from eastern states to the west.
“The Children’s Garden, located in Smiley Park in Van Wert, houses a start from an original Appleseed tree,” Young said. Young announced the 27th Annual Van Wert Apple Festival will be held at the fairgrounds from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on October 18 and from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on October 19.