In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

apples in July

Slowly we are beginning to know these old apple trees. I could only get so far with actually identifying most of them, but from year to year we learn their patterns and remember some of their characteristics. Slowly they are coming into focus as particular trees.

And already we can begin to see which are likely to do well this fall. The Alexander, for example, which makes a golden cider that takes like honey. It did beautifully the first year we harvested, then produced miserably last year. This year it looks loaded with fruit. Maybe it's an every-other-year tree, or maybe last year it was recovering from being pruned.
The anonymous tree nearest the garden gate looks as if it, too, will bear well this year. It seems to do well every year. Its apples are tiny, and much appreciated by all manner of creature. Last year there weren't many left by the time Greg picked them, but only because so many had already dropped, a feast for the sheep and deer.
The Gravenstein seems to have more apples than last year too. I think it's biennial, though.
Also the Maiden's Blush, a tree the sheep particularly adore. The Greening up along the short-cut is doing well, whereas last year it had nothing to speak of.

It could just be that last year was just a pretty poor year for all growing things. There were also no wild raspberries, for instance. And we only got half as many walnuts as we did the year before. Last summer was cool and wet and nothing ever really seemed to take off.
So far, this season promises to be much better.

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