Archive for April, 2009

Dixie Red Delight in Rwanda
April 25, 2009

cultivating
Felipe sent these photos of the apple trees sprouting in Banda Island, Lake Kivu, Rwanda. If the ladies above seem like they’re working with a purpose, its because this is good news in a place where there’s been nothing but bad news for a long, long time. The apple in the photo below is Dixie Red Delight, and the sunny name is befitting of this wonderful apple. It starts bearing the second year, is very reliable, and produces these beautiful deep red, crisp, spicy, delicious apples that keep well and are not bothered by extreme heat. I’m almost sure that this is the first time they’ve been grown on the African continent, much less in this troubled part of the world. Our prayers are with the little trees and people of Banda, who are hearing the Good News about Jesus’ love for them as well as dreaming about apple pie. It would be something if they’re able to pull it off.
dixie-red-delight

Texas Apples
April 15, 2009

adams-apple

The most apples we ship outside of California go almost invariably to Texas. I don’t know if its because there are no apple suppliers in Texas, or that people are constantly told they won’t grow there. It wouldn’t surprise me, as most agricultural extensions will say that apple trees won’t get enough chill to be productive and discourage folks from trying them.

My friend 86-year-old Baxter Adams heard this for years before starting his apple business Love Creek Orchards in Medina, TX. Although his climate is absolutely arctic compared to ours (never gets much below 30 degrees here), he still is waaaaay out of “apple country”. His area also suffered from Cotton Root Rot, another death knell for even thinking about apples. But he bucked the common trend and planted apple trees, and now Medina is known as the apple capital of Texas. His best producer is Lurared, an old Stark Bros. variety not well known as a low-chill producer, but never fails to set a good crop. We hope to lead an “apple revival” in the rest of the state, and can recommend disease-resistant varieties well-suited to tolerate the heat and humidity they face. And if you’re ever around Medina from late July through the end of September, drop by and pick up some Adam’s Apples (photo above) and get a slice of pie. Tell Baxter hi for me while you’re there.