The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The Apple Grower

The Apple GrowerOld timey apples are one of my oldest loves.  The first June apples, translucent against the sun, are far too tender to sell in the grocery store.  We used to gather them from abandoned roadside trees, then Mom turned them into the world's best applesauce and pies.

In the winter, Daddy would buy us Stayman Winesaps by the bushel.  We kept them in the basement with a bowl of sweet, tangy fruit always at hand in the house.  Since I was raised without sugared treats, that crunchy fruit was like nectar.

When I grew up and left the nest, I realized that most folks don't eat real apples.  They subsist on tasteless Red Delicious, insipidly sweet Golden Delicious, or blandly sour Granny Smith.

Which is all to say that I could see myself --- in another life --- running an organic apple orchard full of unique varieties, just like the one Michael Phillips documents in The Apple Grower.  I've critiqued his apple orchard microbusiness over on our microbusiness blog, but over here I'm going to pull out the gems that we small-time growers can learn from a master.

Check out our homemade chicken waterers and dream of spring!

This post is part of our Growing Organic Apples lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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how were you raised without sugar? (seems impossible today without completely isolating the child) do you eat sweets now?
Comment by brett Tue Dec 29 12:14:28 2009

My parents were hippies, and they believed in the evils of sugar. So we just had desserts made from honey until I left home and went to college. Then, unfortunately, I got hooked on the wonderful world of sugar (and, especially, chocolate.) I wish I could go back --- I'm sure I'd be healthier --- but that doesn't seem possible once you get a taste of sweets. :-)

We were pretty isolated, but I was also a really goodie-goodie kid --- if told not to eat sugar, I didn't. My little sister didn't hold out nearly as long before caving in. On the other hand, my brother has the willpower of a saint and still doesn't eat sugar!

Comment by anna Tue Dec 29 12:56:41 2009

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