Monday, August 11, 2014

An Apple a Day?

For the past four years, since I started walking my dog, Sammy, usually twice a day, I discovered something along the route we usually take. Nothing really unusual in this discovery, just something nice I found along the road.

A little ways down the road from my house, where the paved road ends and the dirt road that will take you on down to the ghost town of Peale, I found there are two big old apple trees along the left side of the road, and another good-sized apple tree on the right side, along the driveway to the trailer where a father and son live.

Three summers ago, Mandy and I started bringing apples home from these trees and I started cooking them down to make applesauce and then, bagging the results in ziplock baggies and then, freezing it. The grandkids loved the homemade applesauce as these apples, it turns out, are really good cooking apples. And, by bagging it up like that and freezing it, we often had homemade applesauce throughout the winter then whenever we wanted it!

Two years ago though, we had an early spring that was then followed by a really big, bad, very cold snap and because of the early spring, the apple trees were beginning to bloom but all of the blossoms on, not just these trees I had been raiding, but throughout the entire area, froze and that summer, there were no apples free for the picking anywhere around here!

Now, that was a really revolting development.

Last year, the trees blossomed again and there were apples once more but not nearly as plentiful as they had been two years before that.

This spring, I worried about if the trees would produce or not because we had a very cold spring - lots of cold rains, interspersed even with some snow too at times.

But the blossoms apparently were unharmed because now that the apples are growing on the trees, it is apparent to me that this is going to be a good year to make applesauce and freeze it.

Once I see there are apples forming on these trees, I begin to try to count the apples present then when Sam and I walk down there. The tree furthest down the road doesn't have an over abundance of apples on it but the fruit on it appears to be of a larger sized apples than the apples on the tree just a little before that one. The first tree seems to have gone into over production this year!

Today, I counted about 100 apples on the one tree and on the other tree, with the smaller apples, I counted at least 850 apples! More than enough that if I had a cool place and lots of bushel baskets, I could hoard more than enough apples to have one a day plus, enough to cook applesauce to freeze and fill my freezer to the brim with homemade applesauce!!!

To prove that yes, these trees are going to supply me with a lot of apples to cook things -pies, crisps and of course, applesauce too, I took some pictures of these trees and their yield this year!

This is the tree with apples a bit larger but not as plentiful in the production line!
The tree with over 800 apples on it! Notice you can see there are several groups hanging here with 5-6 apples all clustered together! 
The bottom pictures are of the tree with the smaller apples but really plentiful! This particular apple does not produce fruit that is solid red but rather, looks kind of stripes of red against the green. I have no clue whatsoever as to what kind -name -of apples these are, just know that they are darned good and also, that they are there, free for the taking!

I already warned my son to be prepared to bring his truck down and we will go down and knock apples off (because they are too high up to reach to pick) and let them fall into the bed of his truck or on the ground and we can run around trying to pick up as many as we can then and bring them home to my applesauce factory that my kitchen will soon likely become!

Wish I knew how to can this stuff (and had the equipment too) but the canner that used to be here in this house has somehow managed to disappear. Plus, I like freezing the applesauce better because the ziplock bags hold just enough to serve along with a meal.

Looking forward to smelling the apples cooking down already now!

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