Saturday, July 29, 2023

Second set of summer apples

 This post describes four apple cultivars ripened by the end of July 2023. These were grown in a Sacramento Valley orchard. Below left to right: Mislabeled (probably Ginger Gold), Pepin Shafranyi, Red Alla (probably a strain of Gravenstein), and Amy’s Pink Flesh.

Amy’s Pink Flesh 

Soft, mushy, low acid, low sugar with some bitterness. Overripe by now, but was better tasting a week ago. Below is a picture of Amy’s Pink Flesh on July 21, 2023.

Red Alla

This might be a strain of Gravenstein. The fruit stem is very short, the flowers fit the Gravenstein type, see the flowers pictured below. I do not have a Gravenstein fruiting tree to compare directly. 

Soft but structured flesh with good balance of sweetness and acidity. Enjoyable to eat. Can form glassy patches, see the picture below. For the summer apples, I don’t consider the glassy patches to be a defect.

Pepin Shafranyi 

The flesh is denser than Gravenstein but juicy. Excellent balance of sweetness and acidity with some unusual flavors, maybe kiwi. Very enjoyable to eat. The flesh of some fruits gets the glassy patches, at least in my hot climate. I do not consider it as a defect for a summer apple.


I suspect this is Ginger Gold. Crunchy-soft-juicy flesh. Mostly sweet with a little acid. Very pleasant to eat. Seems to be sunburn resistant.

Check our sales site if we have the cuttings available

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Early Apples in 2023

 This post describes three cultivars of early apples which fruited for me in late June - early July of 2023.

Pervenec Samarkanda (Первенец Самарканда)

The cultivar was introduced in 1959 by the Shreder (currently Miszayev) institute of pomology and viticulture in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The USDA station in Geneva, NY grows this accession.  The name meaning (translated from Russian) is “Firstborn of Samarkand”. This probably refers to it being the earliest ripening apple. 

This accession fruited the first time this year for me, and turned out to be my best early apple of the season. The fruits are juicy, sweet-sour, very bright in the flavor and good in texture. They are medium-small in size, the skin is mostly light yellow, the flesh is white. This is considered to be the best apple for drying, and I understand why - the flavor will be even more concentrated in the dry fruit. I do not think this apple has any storage potential, and should be consumed in under a few weeks.

This apple deserves a better distribution especially in the hot climates. The fruits had none or minimal sunburn damage after the heatwave in June with the temperatures of over 110F. The tree canopy was very minimal and most fruits were exposed to sun.

Lowland Raspberry 

The accession is occasionally available as scions at the CRFG winter exchanges. This is a very old selection from the 19th century or even earlier. Originated in Lithuania and known back then in the Russian Empire as Malinovoye Lievlandskoe (Малиновое Лифляндское). I suspect that nowadays this cultivar in known in Russia as Ranet Letnii (Summer Ranet). There are no traces of Малиновое Лифляндское on the present Russian pages on the web. However, this cultivar is listed in the Botanical Glossary (in Old Russian) from 1878.

This is a sweet soft apple with low acidity. Good eating, pleasant and mellow in flavor. The fruits had some sunburn damage after the heatwave.

The fruits are yellow and striped with red, a bit wavy in the form. The flesh is white.

June Wealthy 

The scions of this accession came to me from the Perfect Circle farm in Vermont. These fruits were the largest, most attractive in the color, but also the most sour and sharp in the flavor. Most fruits were also badly damaged by the sunburn. Hopefully when the tree develops a larger canopy, the sunburn will not be as bad. This apple is for those who prefer sour apples.

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Frost tolerance of Himalayan Mulberries

 The past winter of 2023-2024 was the second test for my Himalayan mulberries frost tolerance. I have five two-years old trees of four culti...