One more time with the positive effects of erosion, just for fun. Back in October 2015, I walked up the hill to see what I could see, with an apple in my pocket. Shortly before I made the image below, I threw away the core at the side of a vineyard access road.
It was a bare gravel cut just uphill from this one. Someone had mowed the weeds along the road. Tidiness, right?
So, the seeds matured over the winter, the spring melt carried water and silt and chopped up weed stalks down the slope, and even buried them in rock, making a nest of straw, silt and water about the size of a small cantaloupe, with an apple core in it. And now look.
The deer have eaten it back to a nub four times, but the rocks prevented complete disaster, and the natural accumulation of organic material and water just at this eroded space ensured success.
She’s in my greenhouse now, a new apple variety. Looks like a cross between an ambrosia and a crab! If I left her there, she’d have been graded out soon enough, or weed-whacked. Tidiness, right? I did the same to three others (I like eating apples while I walk) earlier this spring. Two were in my garden. I had thrown them there in hope. The other was on a different trail, and it was pretty beat up by weed-whacking. And a vole. She’s doing better now. Pretty fun. Now I need to find a home for them and wait for apples. They’re likely all ambrosia, golden gala, or spigold daughters. There are several lessons here. One is the vital one is that erosion builds very specific soil environments right where conditions are right. Another is that I appear to have become Johnny Appleseed. Another is that apple breeding is more heart-healthy than fooling around with genes in a lab.