Did you know that once an apple variety has been “discovered” horticulturists often try to “improve” it by looking for tree mutations that produce minor changes in the way it looks, keeps, or tastes? In the case of the Gala apple, one “improvement” that breeders have sought is to increase its redness. Our Galas are primarily a variety called ROYAL GALA. It has been available since the early 1990s and is described in one nursery catalogue, “Pronounced red stripes over an orange-red undercolor…the standard to which other Galas are compared.” The descriptions of more recent Gala varieties often emphasize how red the apple will get, but we love the yellow/orange/red of ours, the colors of summer sunset. We are also dedicated to good taste and texture, and ROYAL GALA in our opinion remains the standard against which other Galas are compared..
We began harvesting on August 22, and we should have Galas available for the next several weeks. Our Galas have that great color that looks like a summer sunset. They run from large to small, and have that burst of sweetness that signals the true beginning of apple season. Great for eating, in salads, muffins, as a topping for pork, and anywhere else that can use a bright fresh flavor. They are currently available at the Merc and Checkers.
Last week we harvested our Earligold apples. They ripen first, usually about the middle of July. We have sent some of them to both Checkers and The Merc. We will replenish them next week, and that will be all for now. Our next anticipated harvest will be in late August when the Galas, Jonathans, and possibly a few McIntosh ripen.
When the trees are bare during winter nothing goes on it the orchard? Wrong. Winter (and early spring) are when we get the trees ready for the season to follow. Apple trees need to be pruned each year to insure that they will produce the best colored and flavored fruit. We have been busily giving our trees their annual “haircuts.” This process will continue right up to the time the trees bloom in the spring. At this point we anticipate that blooming will start in April and continue until about May 10.