Apple Varieties, 2016 Bulk Order

IPM Apples
One bushel of apples weighs 32 to 38 pounds depending on variety and orchard. Apples are limited this year. Many orchards have limited or shut off wholesale and/or PYO operations. We are sourcing from Apex Orchard – Shelburne Falls, MA, Brooksby Farm – Peabody, MA, and Cold Spring Orchard – Belchertown, MA. We may need to source certain varieties from a different orchard than listed in the descriptions. Price may change if that is necessary. We will do our best to fill your request. Apples are by the full bushel unless listed as 1/2 bushel.

Most apple descriptions taken from Apples by Roger Yelpson (c.1994 W.W. Norton & Co.)

Autumn Gala™ PPAF
Autumn Gala is a patented variety developed in the mid 1990’s by Harry Black at his Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont, MD. It is a mutation that ripens later than the standard Gala, thus the name. This variety extends the Gala season four or more weeks beyond traditional Gala season. The Autumn Gala blooms mid-season and pollinates with all other varieties of early, mid, and late blooming apples.

The fruit is very pretty, medium size, conical to round with yellow-gold skin patterned with bright orange-red. Firm, juicy, fine textured, yellow-white flesh. A sweet apple with a hint of tart. An apple excellent for eating, pie-making and other baking.

Baldwin Apples
Baldwin began as a seedling in the northeastern Massachusetts town of Wilmington, sometime before 1750. The was named for a Colonel Baldwin, who grafted trees from the original seedling. The site of the forest tree is marked with a monument topped by an apple.

The thick, tearing, skin is on the juicy side. Baldwin’s yellow flesh is crisp, coarse and juicy, with a spicy character that recommends it as a cider apple and for pies. This variety of apple keeps extremely well in storage.

Braeburn Apples
Braeburn offers a complex, sweet-tart flavor with a noticeably aromatic aftertaste. When cooked, Braeburn turns simpler but doesn’t go flat. As sauce, it needs little or nothing in the way of added sweetening. Braeburn also keeps well in storage.

Cortland Apples
Cortland comes across as friendly; it’s not a complex variety that will flood your sense gates, but it makes a good apple to accompany your sandwich. Or try it in pies and sauces. Cortland is suited for fruit salads because slices are usually slow to brown.

Empire Apples
This cross between the best-selling red varieties, Red Delicious and McIntosh, was introduced in 1966. Empire has proved superior to the parent it most resembles, Mac, in redness, flavor, and post-harvest life. Not surprisingly, Empire has caught on with both the growers and the apple-eating public.

The creamy white flesh is crisp and juicy. Right off the tree, Empire is an excellent choice for eating out of hand if you like a loud, snapping apple that’s sweeter than it is tart. Empires are frequently added to cider blends and can be used for cooking. In storage, these apples keep their quality well.

Fuji Apples
The cream-colored, firm, fine-grained flesh seems something special from the first bite, as it fills the mouth with sweetness and juice. In taste tests, Fuji consistently scores at or near the top, and among late-maturing varieties it is a standout.

Fuji is regarded as the best keeper of any sweet variety, and the apples retain their toothsome firmness for up to a year in refrigeration.

Golden Russet Apples
Golden Russet is an early American apple, believed to have sprouted from a seed of an English Russet, it was a commercially marketed variety by the early 1800’s and won a following.

The yellow flesh is crisp, fine-textured, and brightly flavorful, with a noticeable sweetness that made it a traditional favorite for hard cider. The apples can be used for cooking and drying. As with most russets, the apples keep well, but they need humid storage if they aren’t to get soft under the skin.

Honeycrisp Apples
Released by the University of Minnesota, this Honeygold and Macoun cross is a real crowd-pleaser. The fruit is large and the skin is 50-90% red over a golden yellow background. The flesh is cream colored and exceptionally crisp and juicy with sub-acid flavor. This should be savored as a dessert apple but can also be used in sauces.

Hudson Apples
Flesh is fine-grained, pale yellow to cream-colored, firm, and crisp. Flavor is sprightly at harvest but mellows to moderately sub-acid after storage. It is juicy with spicy, full rich flavor. We rate quality as very good at harvest and it improves after storage. Fruit retains its characteristic flavor and texture quality for up to 6 months in cold storage.

Mixed Apples – Firsts
Mixed bushels of apples. Mixed firsts will be a combination of up to 10 varieties of apples listed here. Large and small, but all of first quality.

Mixed Seconds

Will be mixed variety apples from Cold Spring Orchard. Second quality apples are generally best for cooking & processing rather than storing. There will be bruises, and there will be some loss. The price reflects this.

Macoun Apples (Small)
Macoun has fans who hunt roadside stands watch fall for a bushel or two. It is a prodigy of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and was introduced in 1923. The apple has some resemblance, in taste and appearance to its parent McIntosh (bred with Jersey Black) but with a darker red over the underlying green and a flavor that many prefer to Mac.

The white flesh is firm, aromatic, and juicy. This is a good pie apple. Only being sold as a half bushel as they are not a good storage apple.

Mutsu Apples
Mutsu is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo. It was developed in Japan in the 1930’s and arrived in the United States in the late 1940’s. The crisp, white flesh is juicy and has a touch of tartness, for an excellent dessert apple.

In taste tests of Golden Delicious and apples descended from it, Mutsu scores on top. It does not make a particularly diverting pie. Sauce will have more flavor if you leave the peels on while cooking and then separate them with a strainer or colander. Mutsu is a worthwhile cider apple.

Cripps Pink/Pink Lady Apples
Cripps Pink – Firm, crisp flesh and a unique, tangy-tart, sweet flavor are characteristic of this apple. Snackers and bakers give the variety high marks in consumer tastings. Cripps Pink, also known as Pink Lady®, is a very late harvested apple (November). Crisp fall nights bring on the bright pink color that gives the apple its name. Originally crossed by Jon Cripps in Australia and introduced in 1985. A cross of Golden Delicious and Lady Williams.

Northern Spy
Northern Spy apples may have originally been called Northern Pie Apple, and is also known as Red Spy and Red Northern Spy. It was found in an orchard at East Bloomfield, New York, with seedlings brought from Connecticut about 1800. The fruit is large, especially on young trees, and on well-colored fruit, there is a clear-yellow shade with bright-red tints, distinctly streaked with the yellow under-color, making the red almost scarlet, but fruit color can be quite variable.

The white flesh is very juicy, crisp, tender and sweet with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor and is a good dessert apple and pie apple that is also used for cider. One of the best storing apples, Northern Spy ripens in late September and early October.

Roxbury Russet Apples
Roxbury Russet may be America’s first pomological achievement, having been developed and named in Roxbury, MA in the early 1600’s. A look at one suggests how the idea of a good apple has changed over the centuries, Roxbury presents a dull green, heavily marked face to the world. But the crisp, tart apple has more personality than some of today’s supermarket standards. Its yellow-green flesh is firm and coarse textured. Roxbury is suited to eating fresh and cooking and long has had a reputation as a fine cider apple. As with most older varieties, it keeps well for months.

Spitzenburg (antique variety)
The Spitzenburg apple was discovered around 1790 by an early Dutch settler of that name. He found the apple at the settlement of Esopus, on the Hudson River, in Ulster County, New York. Much attention was bestowed upon the Spitzenburg apple when Thomas Jefferson ordered a dozen trees for his orchard in Monticello.

Unexcelled in flavor or quality, the fruit is great off the tree, but radically improves in storage. Medium apple with crisp, yellow skin covered with inconspicuous red stripes and russet freckles. Flesh is tinged yellow, firm, aromatic, and complex in flavor; a perfect balance between sharp and sweet.

Crispy Kohlrabi Cakes

Kohlrabi is an alien looking little plant with a leafy, celery like top and bulbous, turnip like bottom. It’s actually part of the cabbage family and, like cabbage, can be eaten raw or cooked. Some FDC favorites for kohlrabi are the ever delicious kohlrabi fries, Asian Cole Slaw, and Japanese root vegetable stew.

However, I’ve recently learned that anything can become a hash brown, mash, or pizza crust. This recipe for Kohlrabi Cakes (read ‘hash browns’) sounds particularly delicious and I can’t wait to give them a go.

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Spicy Braised Escarole

Escarole is a leafy green with a slightly bitter taste, often found in mixed salads. You can tear and toss with any other salad greens you have on hand, top as you please with other vegetables, and create a delicious salad with no fuss or mess.

But if you’re feeling more inventive and the chill of fall has touched your house, perhaps your playing the favorite “how long can I last without heat game”…. spice up your night with this delicious braised escarole. It should be ready to eat in about 20 minutes.

2 tbsps olive oil
2 – 4 oz Soppressata or other favorite Italian meat (simply omit or substitute with spicy tofu to make it vegetarian)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 – 2 heads of escarole (about a pound), coarsely chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped if you have some
1/2 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko (or crushed up rice checks if gluten free)
2 tbsps fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add Soppressata, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add escarole in batches and cook, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until escarole is tender – about 15 minutes then transfer to a bowl.

In a small skillet heat remaining oil, add panko and cook over medium heat, stirring until golden, about 1 minute. Take off heat, stir in Parmesan and sprinkle over escarole. Serve immediately!

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

Farm Feature: ifarm, Boxford, MA

by Julie Pottier Brown

I had a lovely visit to a beautiful property in Boxford, MA last week called ifarm.pitch-and-patch-7

Tamara and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the folks from ifarm when we tabled an event in late March in Topsfield at the Gould Barn/Topsfield Historical Society and the adjacent church. We chatted about what we each did, and I purchased a bag of dried herbs. In considering how we might work with this new-to-us farm, I realized the bags of dried herbs would fit nicely in the Cooks Share. There were a few back and forth calls in August, a deal was struck, and the process of drying began.

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Turkey Meatloaf in a Pumpkin

by Laura Sherman & Evan May  20161009_1947481
Thursday Melrose Members

We made this recipe the other day and it was so delicious we wanted to share! Recipe is adapted from, although we made a few small changes. We used the pumpkin and apples from the coop and it was easily enough food for four people.

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