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One of the first things we planted, when we bought our home, was trees. And they were all fruit trees. One peach tree, one Gala, and one Granny Smith Apple Tree. We got them with the intention of offering shade for our chickens. But additionally, we eat a lot of fruit, particularly apples. So we wanted to eat our own food too. We waited 3 years to get fruit. The first year they flowered, the apple trees had a lot of Granny Smith and Gala apples, and the chickens stole a bunch! But we still had enough to make homemade apple pie.
Each successive year my husband picks the apples, filling a ~5 gallon bucket for our daughter Hannah. Then (sometimes) all 4 of us will help peel and cut the apples, so she can make ~ 10 apple pies. We give some (pies) to neighbors and bring some to work. While we enjoy the rest.
Since those first 3 trees, my husband has successfully cloned some. And we’ve also added Honeycrisp and McIntosh apple trees. Even though they’re both still small, we’ll have had them 3 years by next Spring. We got one apple from the McIntosh this year, which are my personal favorite apples. And it tasted heavenly. I claimed that tree for myself. But so far we. haven’t gotten any from the Honeycrisp. So we’ll just have to see what kind of apples it brings. In addition to those, we have 2 kinds of cherry trees. They should be ready next year since we got those the same time as the Honeycrisp. Though I’m told cherry trees don’t do so great here in Oklahoma.
This is our 2nd or 3rd year of harvesting apples, but we didn’t even think we were going to have one this year. And that’s because the Granny Smith apple tree is the pollinator for all of the apple trees. Way back in October of last year, when we had our first ice storm, we lost 2 trees. Our peach tree and the Granny Smith.
At first it didn’t look like the peach tree was in too bad shape. At least it didn’t look like the Granny Smith, which was totally cut in half. But over the following weeks it became clear that the peach tree wasn’t going to make it. So my husband cut it down. On the other hand, like I said, the Granny Smith tree was in pretty bad shape from the get-go. It was already cut down. What could we do? And it was the pollinator! We’d have to buy another one, then wait another 3 years till we got apples again.
However that’s not what happened, thankfully. It was too late to try to salvage the apple tree, by the time my husband thought to. But the tree didn’t die. This past spring, miraculously it was green, and it’s still green. So we ended up having a harvest of apples after all. No, we didn’t have any Granny Smith apples, but we did have Galas, and we had the one McIntosh. And I think we’ll continue to have apples as long as we have the Granny Smith apple tree.
The middle of August is typically when we pick our apples. And they aren’t big like you find at the supermarket. But that’s because they’re organic, and they taste amazing. We just have to get to them before our chickens do!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it! Did you lose any trees in any of the storms we had this past year or last year?