Monday, November 29, 2010

The Apple Hunter

While researching information on apples and orchards (I want to start one some day), I came across Tom Brown's website about his search for antique/heirloom apples in North Carolina and Virginia. I also came across the video above, produced by Blue Ridge Country Magazine. To date, he has found over 900 varieties of apples—900!! He has a complete list on his site, some with photos. My jaw dropped when I saw the length of the list. It is amazing to think that there are that may different apples still around. Just think how many more are out there in the states even further north (especially Washington).

Though it is true that Florida is not the best state to grow apples, there is hope. There are a few varieties that have been developed here or introduced from other countries over the years that will flourish in Florida's shorter winters and humid summers. This article from UF has some useful info on the basics.

The are a few nurseries in FL that sell these trees to the public. Two that I found are Just Fruits and Exotics near Tallahasee and Chestnut Hill Tree Farm near Gainesville. I have not bought from either of these farms, so I offer no guarantees to their reputations. JF&E also offers a few heirloom varieties.

If you have any apple trees growing here in FL, I would love to know what variety(ies) you have and where.

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