Heirloom Apple Varieties You Can Grow
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3. The trademark “twang” applies to any ‘Winesap,’ an all-purpose fall apple that originated in New Jersey before 1800. It has the ability to grow in poor clay soil. Its juicy, spicy, wine-like flavor makes it perfect for cider. The reddish skin has yellow patches. The fruit is ready for harvest between September and November. Winesap is the parent of ‘Blacktwig,’ ‘Arkansas’ and ‘Kinnaird’s Choice.’
4. ‘Newtown Pippin’ (aka ‘Albemarle’) originated in the early 1700s in Newtown, Long Island, as a good storage apple, and it holds the title of the oldest commercially grown native variety in the United States. It became George Washington’s favorite green dessert apple. When grafts found their way to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson eagerly planted them at his estate. The pine-like tartness is good for baking pies and making cider. The top of the yellowish-green fruit is often russeted, like a bonnet. The apple is ready to eat during the month of October.
5. ‘Arkansas Black’ originated around 1870 from a Winesap seedling in Arkansas and is considered to be one of the best storage apples for the winter months. The crisp, juicy, reddish-almost-purple apple can best be described as “hard as a brick,” and ripens late October.
6. The coriander-scented ‘Grimes Golden’ originated in West Virginia before 1800 and is known as the parent of the modern-day Golden Delicious. It makes excellent applesauce and cider. The skin is yellow with some russet. The fruit ripens in September and displays a red blush when the skin gets too much sun.
7. ‘Magnum Bonum’ is a sweet-tasting, fall apple that originated in North Carolina in 1828. It is productive throughout the South though susceptible to cedar-apple rush disease. The red surface shows oddly colored spots with yellow and light blushes. The apple ripens in September.
8. ‘Hewes Crab’ (aka ‘Virginia Crab’) originated in Virginia during the early 1700s. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson used this small cider apple for baking and vinegar. The fruit appears green with a dull reddish color and ripens in September.
9. ‘Limbertwig’ offers 20 varieties of sweet-tasting apples, most named because of the drooping nature of their limbs. Limbertwig makes excellent apple butter. Most varieties boast a red-yellowish skin and are harvested between September and October.
10. ‘Roxbury Russet’ is a high-sugar cider apple, good for fresh eating or cooking. The skin is greenish-bronze with a yellow-brown russet. It may be the oldest American apple, originating before 1649 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.