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Heirloom apple tasting in October 200 varieties

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  • Joyce Brooks
    From another list I m on, this is a fresh apple eating event! HEIRLOOM APPLE TASTING Saturday October 18 11-4 $5 donation, $3 kids 12 and under (under 6 free)
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2008
      From another list I'm on, this is a fresh apple eating event!

      Saturday October 18 11-4
      $5 donation, $3 kids 12 and under (under 6 free)

      Venersborg One-Room Schoolhouse (just down the street from our farm)
      35 min. NE of Portland OR and ten minutes east of Battle Ground, WA.
      24317 N.E. 209th St, Battle Ground, WA 98604

      We are hosting an heirloom apple tasting at the one-room schoolhouse
      in Venersborg. You're invited.

      We have over 200 different kinds of heirloom apples on hand for
      tasting and can take orders for spring saplings.

      Did you know apples don't grow true to seed? If you plant five seeds
      from the same apple, each tree will have a different tasting apple on
      it, most of them sour. In the old days these "spitters" were used to
      make cider, not for eating. The only way to continue an apple variety
      is to graft a branch from the original tree onto rootstock and grow
      the tree that way.

      Keeping heirloom breeds in continuous production is quite a task. A
      hundred years ago there were over 1,100 different varieties grown and
      sold in the United States. Today, however, we have only kept a few
      hundred going. The main reason is that for the last 50 years grocery
      buyers began requesting apples that ship well and are of uniform size
      so orchardists began growing those (flavorless) kinds. Right now just
      15 varieties account for over 90% of what's grown.

      Quite obviously, flavor has not always been considered. Most people
      these days have never tasted the vast variety of flavors apples can

      To keep a breed going, we need to create demand for different
      varieties. All the apples at this event are heirloom (antique)
      apples. Nearly all of them are types that are over a century old. One
      even dates back to the 1600s.

      On Saturday you can taste the Swedish Make (almonds!), Reinette du
      Canada (pineapple), Japanese Akane (dependably sweet and crisp) and
      plenty more. We have a few red fleshed ones and a lots of skin
      colors: Russets are green and potato-like on the outside. The Summer
      Red is speckled like a red plum. Two Russian apples are vividly deep
      purple and The Duchess of Oldenburg is red striped.

      At this event you'll be able to bring apples from your own ancient
      tree and we'll help you identify the variety -- if we're smart enough
      to figure it out. We'll give it our best shot anyway.

      We're doing this to help raise funds for Venersborg's one-room
      schoolhouse so we can install a flush toilet to replace the outhouses
      that are still in use. Tours of the old outhouses and the schoolhouse
      will be offered during the apple tasting. The schoolhouse, built in
      1912, is listed on the National and Washington Historic Registers as
      the oldest continuously operating community building in Washington
      and is the last intact one room schoolhouse in Clark County.

      Friendly Haven Rise is a biodynamic farm in Venersborg, WA.

      The schoolhouse is located at
      24317 N.E. 209th St. in Battle Ground
      $5 donation, $3 kids 12 and under (under 6 free)
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