Blonde apples. A joke? No.
The apple crop in our part of upstate New York is not good this year. Many local orchards are not offering U Pick. This is a blow to our local agricultural industry, but at least we have enough apples for regular sales, and for cider.
This was the result of our early spring, which came to a abrupt stop with a night of temperatures in the teens. The apples were in bloom, and the freeze killed many of the blooms. The only thing that saved our crop was the fact that apple trees tend to produce a lot more blooms than they need.
We weren't the only ones to experience Apple Fail.
Hendersonville, NC, which my spouse and I visited last Friday, also has apples in short supply.
Hendersonville is in a major apple growing area of North Carolina, and some of these apples make it into the larger city of Asheville.
Some of the apples we saw at the tailgate markets in Asheville, NC, were seriously pockmarked with hail damage. But, I understand from talking to farmers that the cause of their Apple Fail was similar to ours.
Finally, on the way home, we visited Maryland. Seems like they had a good crop. At Catoctin Mountain Orchards near the Maryland/Pennsylvania border, we finally found some good apples- apples I haven't seen here in the Binghamton, NY area.
But when I got home and looked these up online, I did not see anything on "blondie" apples. It wasn't handwriting; these are listed on the orchard website as "Blondie", too.
I thought maybe I saw a heirloom apple. But it wasn't.
What I found online were references to "Blondee" apples, a yellow Gala-type. The orchard did have Gala apples - they were even offering whole Gala apples for sampling.
I wonder if this mystery "blonde" is a Blondee apple. When I taste it, I'll see how Gala-like it is.
I love apple time. Do you?