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Apple expedition

What an apple should look like

Someday the abbey’s orchard will have a stand of grand old apple trees that will supply a variety of apples from late summer until fall. But unfortunately the abbey’s orchard is only five years old. Though it’s producing apples, the young trees can’t make apples faster than the squirrels can sneak over the fence from the woods and carry them off (along with the figs).

Therefore, whenever we’re out and about, Ken and I are on the lookout for abandoned apple trees. On a recent trip to Asheville, we hit the jackpot. There were two grand apple trees — a green and a red — near a friend’s house, and he had been given picking rights by the owner.

I won’t repeat my rant about the worthlessness of grocery store apples. I’ll just summarize with the fact that, whatever they are, they are not apples. I will make do with commercial apples when I can’t get anything else. But the only real apples come from old, abandoned trees. The age of the tree helps ensure that the apples are of an honest variety meant for eating rather than shipping. And being abandoned ensures that they’ve never been sprayed. A healthy apple tree is remarkably pest free. The ugly skin of the apple is the truest indicator of its quality. An apple with a beautiful skin is hardly ever fit to eat.

These apples were at the perfect time for picking. They were hard and very juicy.


Ken in the apple tree

The red tree wasn’t quite as grand as the green tree

The green apple tree


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