The apples are extremely abundant on our trees this season. It is a blessing and a curse. I love having abundant apples, but the yard is one big applesauce pit at the moment. The Canada geese come in to dine, but there are far too many apples already littering the ground for them to make a dent. Ironic, also, that frost singed most trees to the north. Tanners has few apples this season, but that frost skirted around us. We were due for a heavy season, and it arrived on schedule. Because of the drought, they are not very large. But what we lost in size is made up for in sheer numbers.
Ironically, when the rains did come to Central Illinois, one large Yellow Delicious tree in the Chapel orchard was so top-heavy with fruit, it literally fell over in the wet soil. My son Dirk and I walked out to take an estimate of the damage. He comforted me that the loss of the tree meant more sun for a nearby Rome apple tree. “We will plant more next year,” he promised.
“Well,” I said, “It makes picking easier.”
I have invited many friends to come out for apples–begged them, really. And these are just the early apples…other trees will not be ripe for a few weeks. It reminds me of the song from Disney’s JOHNNY APPLESEED cartoon. They sang about all the wonderful things you can make from apples. Apple sauce and apple fritters. Apple pie and apple dumplings. Apple butter and apple cake. Of course, apple cider, if there is a grinder and press handy. I have made them all. When the Winesaps are ripe, I will make more sauce for the freezer because I like it with a kick.
This post is in memory of a good-old-tree that gave its all for the cause. At least it went out with a crop to be proud of.