Sustaining the Okanagan 10: 24 Apple Pies

We know who makes the best summer apple pies. Here she is, the summer pie maker.P1180166

She was born in Russia 220 years ago. Look how young she looks in my garden.

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Here in Vernon, she usually ripens in late July. This year, three weeks early (two weeks before my apricots). Here she is, hanging out with marigolds, tomatoes, garlic, spinach (for seed) and marjoram.

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These are amazing pie and sauce apples. We could have a massive industry here, supporting a large processing and food industry. Instead, we have sweet fall apples to compete with industrial-scale production from Washington, while the warmer contours of the food industry are left to wine: a luxury product, exuberantly priced. People want pie. Don’t you? And tart apple sauce for those pork roasts in October? Of course you do!

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The sustainable beauty of transparents is their sweet tartness, their earliness and their processing suitability: no cosmetic pesticides necessary, and a very short season for other pests. What’s more, they respond well to climate, so we could pick them continuously for a month, from the bottom of the valley to the top, using water in the cool zone, where water consuming fruits like this belong. Besides, they’re even better when grown to be picked in September, just before mountain frost. And they are a remarkably easy tree to grow, incredibly resistant to bacterial disease. Look how clean they are!

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As another bonus, there’s a variety called Lodi, which ripens five days later, and stores longer. We could further extend our production. The trick of surviving in the Okanagan is about using water cleverly. These apples which take up water in our wettest month, June, and then are done, are a good start. We could exceed the employment of the grape industry, easily, which is a darned good use of our water, too. Think transparents. Think pie. If you’re in the Canadian Okanagan, there were some at Quality Greens last week. They’re probably all gone, but you might like to check.

 

10 thoughts on “Sustaining the Okanagan 10: 24 Apple Pies

    • Slow pie! I planted the tree three years ago, had a few apples the next year, and a few last year, and now I get my pie. All recipes should come with years of preparation! Ha, maybe I will write one like that, just for fun.

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      • Such abundance in tree years? Apples look like from a picture ! And they are too perfect to make pies from them! Better make pictures!

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      • Ah, indeed, but I am, blush, the apple man. I know how to help a tree along. It’s a lost art, like poetry and arrow fletching, but enjoyable even so. They sure are pretty, aren’t they. It was the one of the best pies I’ve ever made. In August, I can make pies from my other tree. They’re even better… but the apples aren’t as pretty.

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      • Congratulations! Obviously you are the apple man, there is a lot of knowledge to master to become one, for sure, but yes, there is this other part, being able to hear what nature whispers….I am mastering this other part each time working in my garden. It is like a meditation, in a way. Don’t you think so?

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      • Absolutely! We get to think with our fingers, our breath, our skin, and our whole bodies, and the mind, it is what unfolds over time, out in a garden. A perfect meditation: a paying attention.

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      • You braggart, you will have to post some apricots to make me believe you can make apricot pie as good as apple one 😉

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      • Ha! It’s the other apple pie, my Fintry apple pie that is as good. Apricots are watery, but they make a great compote. Mmmmmmm. And upside down cake. Mmmmmmm!

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