So. Calif. Low-Chill Pioneers?

The above is an advertising postcard passed out by Grant Lightle for Stark Bros. Nursery’s King David variety, which after the turn of the century they were touting as one of their best apples.  I happen to agree with them, as for beauty and flavor it seems to be tops from Maine to Mexico (that’s King David on the mast head of this blog). 

What is interesting is one of the quotes on the back from a satisfied customer: “I have some King David trees, 3 years old from planting, that are bearing some of the largest, finest apples I ever saw, and this is their second crop – JNO. Bennett, San Diego, California”.

Were Mr. Bennett’s trees planted in San Diego?  If so it is as balmy seaside climate as you could hope for, right next to Mexico and never getting much under 45 degrees or over 85 degrees.  Now there are some mountains about 45 miles out of San Diego with a town called Julian that grows apples, but it is not convenient to San Diego (especially in 1910 with a population of maybe 600) and why didn’t they just say Julian?  They list Madera, California on the postcard, and that’s not exactly a major city everyone is familiar with.

It is entirely possible as King David does well for us here in Riverside, as it seems to do well whereever it’s planted.  We’ll be doing more tropic testing on it in the coming years to see if we can truly extend it’s reign farther south.


2 Responses

  1. Let it be one of the varieties to zambia for 2012. It very clear that we have broken the mith

  2. Definitely showing as one of my best here in Northern California. It has survived some harsh drought and still pulled off a crop of intensely flavored apples. I’m planting more. Makes great cider too.

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