When are apples ripe?

When are apple ripe?

How do you know the apples you are using for hard cider are ripe? Maybe, you would ask me to define ripe. Is ripe defined by the ideal time to harvest an apple, to eat an apple, or to press an apple. We could even consider the question of ripeness for cooking apples. In my … Continue reading When are apples ripe?

Unique Apples: Red Fleshed Varieties

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Hidden Rose and Pink Pearl Apples - Two Red Flesh Varieties Have you ever eaten a red apple? Not red on the outside, but red on the inside. I must say that there is this appeal of biting into an apple and finding this pink or reddish colored flesh. Even when you know it’s there, … Continue reading Unique Apples: Red Fleshed Varieties

Cider Words: Historic American Cider Apples

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Historic American Cider Apples In 1867, John A. Warder published American Pomology: Apples (1). If you haven’t read it, it’s not only a wonderful book about American apples but also a great reminder of how America grew. When he talks about the West, he means Illinois! Within its pages are references to apples that after … Continue reading Cider Words: Historic American Cider Apples

Cider Words: Humorous Apple Names

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Humorous Names of Heirloom Apples At one time, the United States of America had around 14,000 named apple varieties. That is pretty amazing and sad when you consider how many you can find today. I love the history of apples and I’ve enjoyed reading some of the older books, like American Pomology and The Apples … Continue reading Cider Words: Humorous Apple Names

Making “Easy” Cherry Cider

Cherry Cider: Made Easy

Easy Cherry Cider Label I didn’t always press my own apples to make cider. Like many people, I started making cider using store bought juice. I also think I made some good cider from store bought juice and you can as well. For this recipe, I thought I would go back to my roots and … Continue reading Making “Easy” Cherry Cider

June Gloom: A Cider-Maker’s Struggle

June Gloom: A Cider Maker’s Challenge

If you live in Southern California, June Gloom means the time of year when clouds roll in and it gets overcast, cool, and gloomy. It’s most common in June but can start earlier or last later into summer. For me as a cider maker, this sentiment covers the summer months beginning in June and running … Continue reading June Gloom: A Cider-Maker’s Struggle

Making Li’l Apple Cider

Li’l Apple Cider

Li’l Apple Cider - A cider crafted with manzanita berries. If you are ever near where manzanita trees grow, I encourage you to find one. They are a gorgeous tree. In southern Arizona you can find them on some of the mountains and they surround one of the orchards that I pick, which is around … Continue reading Making Li’l Apple Cider

Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

This is my second year learning to graft apple trees. Last year I learned the important lessons of making sure your rootstock is growing before you graft scion wood. I also learned not to unwrap your scion graft too soon or at least not without first having some staking in place. This year, I did … Continue reading Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

Apple Tree Chill Hours

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Apple Trees: Chill Hours Chill hours are defined as the number of hours below 45F (7C) but above 32F (0C) that your tree will experience in a given calendar year. Most apples trees need at least 1,000 chill hours each year. That’s around 42 days or 11% of the available days or hours in a … Continue reading Apple Tree Chill Hours

Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy

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The impact of ploidy on apple tree pollination. Apple trees are generally not self fertile and even those advertised as such will often be more productive if there is a second variety nearby(1). That doesn’t mean a second tree of the same variety. That means a second variety of apple: GoldRush, Arkansas Black, Dabinett, Yarlington … Continue reading Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy