Archive for March, 2010

Apples in Zambia
March 29, 2010

Just got photos back from Zambia of the planting of our apple shipment there.  In the above photo each stick marks the location of an apple benchgraft.  The rains are favorable and the soil looks wonderful; judging from the happy trees in the background I’d say the apple trees will be happy also, which will make for happy people harvesting apples!

This is a lot of fun, and we thank God.


Apples in Rwanda
March 21, 2010

We got photos back from the planting of our apple trees in Bugesera, Rwanda.  These were sent by Apples for Africa, a Christian ministry that helps orphans and widows in war-torn parts of Africa.

Above; reading the planting instructions and praying over the trees before starting work.

Digging the holes with the only farm equipment they have; a hoe.  Note the string and tape measure to space the rows evenly.


The M111 EMLA rootstocks require that the trees be planted deeply to avoid aerial burr knots.  They followed the instructions exactly and did a good job.

The trees are mulched with grass to conserve water and control weeds.

The trees are watered with water that was carried in.  Rainfall is good here, so in a few years the deep-rooted, drought-resistant rootstocks will not need hand-watering and be able to weather droughts, unlike their traditional crops of maize or cassava.  Note the entire field has been plowed with just hoes and mama-power.

A job well done.   These ladies are tough; they will plow an acre field with a hoe and then put a 40-pound sack of maize on their head and walk back to town.  They will give the orchard loving attention, checking each leaf by hand for bugs and keeping the weeds out.  We got reports that the orchard planted in Banda last year is thriving, to which we thank God; we expect the same for this orchard, as they are very excited  about it.

Apples and Their Uses
March 10, 2010

We added a new addition to our Tropic Apples Body of Knowledge webpage for those folks in tropical countries that are unfamiliar with apples and their uses, cleverly named Apples and Their Uses; an Introduction to the World of Apples.   In it I attempt to show how apples had to be adapted to the new harsh climate of the USA upon their importation from Europe, and how they were used in pioneer life.  There are correlations with tropic countries in that part of our search is for varieties and seedlings that will be adapted to the new environment of high heat, humidity, and lack of winter chill.  I fully expect the apples will be up to the challenge, as God has put in their genetic code wonderous adaptability.

Tropic Apples Body of Knowledge
March 8, 2010

When I started researching growing apples in hot climates and the tropics, I found the information very fractured and difficult to find. 

I’ve taken the small step of trying to gather it all in one place at my new webpage, the Tropic Apples Body of Knowledge that contains links to articles, research papers, reports, and a discussion board.  Please drop by to take a gander and say “hi” at

Last Lady Williams
March 2, 2010

I was cutting scionwood last weekend to start filling orders, and came upon the Lady Williams tree with the last of last season’s apples on it.  They were puny, but still tasted fresh and good.  I’m afraid that’s it until Dorsett Golden puts out the first early apples in late May; three months of apple drought.  But there’s plenty to keep me busy until then, starting with grafting over a thousand trees to kick the season off.