Archive for October, 2009

October 28, 2009


PBS recently had a program based on Michael Pollan’s book The Botany of Desire, A Plant’s –Eye View of the World.  It was beautifully photographed and had interviews with some true apple geeks, and consisted of four segments.  I was of course interested in the apple segment of it. 

Pollan marvels how brilliantly plants have adapted to changing environments, cleverly getting animals and humans to do their will.  Aside from my annoyance at Pollan’s assumption of the apple’s relegation to a cold climate, it was obvious what happens to someone’s outlook on nature when he willfully ignores the finger of God in all creation.  All of a sudden it is nature that is all-powerful, all-knowing, exceedingly wise.  Nature and chance is how the world we know came about being, not the Living God divinely creating it as an environment to nurture Man and to display His creativity and power through. 

 In fact, a person who rejects God and instead embraces Nature and chance attributes these with all the attributes of God; nothing is too hard, nothing is too complex for Nature and chance to create; the main difference is that he is not accountable to Nature and chance, and can do whatever he thinks right in his own eyes.  A man is a fool to look at an apple seed with systems and processes far, far more complex than man could ever design or even dream of, and attribute this to blind chance rather than the divine design of God.  This is paganism to replace the true and living God with a false and impotent god of your own imagination, which only leads to folly.


Apple and Orange
October 25, 2009

Robertson Nittany

As a reminder that my blog is called Apples and Oranges, we include an orange in today’s post.  I harvested both of these today in our yard, a Robertson Navel and a Nittany apple.  The navel has a beautiful red flesh, and this is the very front of the season; they’re best around December.  The Nittany is a product of Penn State and is just wrapping up the season for us, and the stragglers on the tree are starting to have a wrinkly skin, but the flesh is still firm and crisp.  They were both very good, and I’m thankful to live in a place where we can grow both.

Robertson Nittany Slice

Second Crop
October 18, 2009

Second Crop

Many low-chill apple varieties and some higher-chill apples will give a second crop in a warm Mediterranian-type climate.  The crop is usually much smaller and will ripen around December.  This is sort of an “afterthought” of the tree and not a main crop.  The tree will then briefly go through dormancy before blossoming again late January.

However, in the tropics, two to three “real” crops in a year are possible.  This is because daylight length and temperature are pretty much constant, and the tree is tricked into thinking it has undergone dormancy by stripping the leaves off the tree by hand.  This is tough on the tree and extra fertilizer is applied, and the tree will never get very big.  Anna and Dorsett Golden respond quite will to this culture, as does Rome Beauty and Wealthy.