Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at
One of four bags of apples we collected.
The apple was born wild in Kazakhstan, Michael Pollan explains in The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, in which he examines the relationship between four plants—tulips, apples, potatoes, and marijuana—and people, exploring how each of these plants has proliferated and evolved in the service of satisfying human desires. In the case of the apple, that desire was for sweetness.
Apples gone wild in the U.S. have their origins first in Kazakhstan, followed much later by the famous Johnny (Chapman) Appleseed, who traveled broadly here, planting apples from seeds and with them the genetic diversity necessary for this humble fruit to adapt to life in the New World.
One “problem” in planting apples from seeds, however, is that you essentially get wild-edible bearing trees out them (which of course does not bother me)—for the seed of one perfect apple does not a perfect apple tree produce. Instead, an unpredictable tree sprouts, one that is often too “wild” (read: producing small, blemished, and/or gnarled fruit) to make the perfect apple of a grocery store display. Among many, many seedlings, one tree might produce a good strain of apples—an event which Pollan explains to have been cause for much celebration back in the day. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, July 15th, 2011 at
Gregg and Ruth pick apples.
I feel so fortunate today for the generosity of people—and the several hundred apples in Gregg’s parents’ garage just waiting to be peeled and made into applesauce, apple cobbler, dried apple slices, and possibly apple jelly.
We arrived at Ruth’s house in Aurora yesterday afternoon, severe thunderstorms threatening, and with her help managed to pick several bags full while the storm, which was pouring down in another part of town just a few miles away, passed us by without incident.
We made Ruth’s acquaintance through this blog. After listening to a piece about urban foraging on NPR that welcomed folks to be generous with their wild edibles, she searched online and found us instead. I don’t mind one bit. “That’s because I integrated Facebook and made you findable!” Gregg exclaimed gleefully upon hearing the news. (This is true; thanks be to Gregg for the web savvy.) Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at
Green apple tree photo by Derrick Coetzee. This is not the actual apple tree.
Ruth from southeast Aurora dropped me a line via the blog two days ago offering free green apples from her apple tree, which is going wild with fruit this year. Any Colorado locals are encouraged to take her up on the offer immediately, as the apples are ripe for the picking, in fact falling off the tree at this moment.
Contact Ruth at 720-217-6394 to schedule a pickup or get directions.
The timing is good for Gregg and me, too, as we’ll be down Denver way this week and plan to go get some for ourselves, though I don’t think I can handle more than a couple bags full. She believes they are Granny Smiths and they’re 2 to 2.5″ in diameter—good for pies and jams, she says. They’re organic as they’ve never been sprayed.
If you can’t use any apples yourself please pass on the word lest the fruits of nature’s bounty go to waste.
[Photo is not the actual tree; it is courtesy of Derrick Coetzee, licensed through Creative Commons.]