Archive for October, 2013

Gotta Love It
October 14, 2013


No, it’s not a flower bush, it’s an apple tree (click on the photo for full-size).  An apple tree on M111 rootstock, grafted in March of this year.  Did I mention it’s in  Uganda, East Africa, where it never gets below 45 degrees?  The variety is Anna, and there are a dozen like it in this field along with Dorsett Golden, all the same size, all blossoming like there’s no tomorrow.  If we allowed them, they’d all have a big apple on the tip bending the tree over so it rests on the ground, and would do that twice a year as their season is endless.  If all apple trees behaved like this, nobody would go hungry.

But much to this client’s disappointment, I’m recommending that all the blossoms be picked off, and the side shoots cut of so that there’s just one shoot being trained as a central leader tied to that stick the label is on.  This tree is way too small to start bearing apples; but there’s no doubt that it could and would if allowed to (you gotta love it).

October 12, 2013


There seems to be a mystery afoot regarding the description of Foxwhelp, a traditional English cider apple.  When the English say “cider”, it is invariably alcoholic cider, and certain apples are used for it that impart qualities to the fermented cider that don’t always taste very good fresh, and some are downright nasty until fermented.

That’s supposedly the case with Foxwhelp, but we found it quite excellent fresh, albeit a bit intense.  It had a nice balance of really tart, really sweet, and very “appley”; moderately juicy, and a faint aroma.  All in all a very nice combination, nothing that I would call “harsh”.

Now I don’t know if our hot climate mellowed it out, or if (like many people suspect) the Foxwhelp in New England of the USA is a different variety from the ancient English one.  Regardless, it is a pretty apple that may find some use here; I’m intending on grafting more of these.

Royal Visit
October 8, 2013


Our Uganda Director, John Baptist Lwanga, was given a three minute audience to address the visit of His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, king (Kabaka) of the Buganda, one of the three tribes that make up the nation of Uganda.  He was visiting the Mukono district where we have our apple tree nursery, encouraging people to plant trees to restore the forests in the area that have been lost.  The kingdom has been very supportive of our efforts to introduce apple culture to Uganda, and has two of our apple trees planted in front of the royal palace at Bulangi, Mengo.   John Baptist was wearing one of our Kuffel Creek Tee-shirts and invited everyone to the Tropic Apple Culture seminar we’re holding at the Pope Memorial Community Center 2:00 to 5:00 PM October 24th.  You can see the details of Kabaka Mutebi’s visit at


Bumper Crop
October 1, 2013

I’ve been visiting the elementary school orchards this year and they have a bumper crop of apples.  They don’t get thinned like they should and so the apples are on the smaller side, but they’ve been picking and eating them anyway.  Standouts are King David and Wickson Crab, respectively in the photos below.  Both of them need another month on the tree and will be much more deeply colored by then.  The flavor quality on both is outstanding.


King David mini
Wickson Crab mini