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Thread: Washington State Is Betting The Farm On Its New Apple Hybred — the Cosmic Crisp

  1. #1
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    Washington State Is Betting The Farm On Its New Apple Hybred — the Cosmic Crisp

    I’m a “take it or leave it” kind of guy with the usual apples we can buy, but I am an enthusiastic eater of them when fresh off the trees in apple country. The ubiquitous Red Delicious variety we consumers have been stuck with since my childhood is bland enough to have killed any desire for the fruit long ago, so I understand if you simple are uninterested. The prevalence of the very good Honey Crisp in the last decade has brought many back into the fold however. Now, agronomists working for the State of Washington, where apples are a leading product of the economy, have put in years of breeding to produce the apple of their dreams — the Cosmic Crisp.

    I’ve been reading in anticipation about this apple for a couple of years now, but it takes three years for the trees and orchards to gear up for commercial production. The first ones have now reached the supermarkets. We bought our first ones a couple of weeks ago here in Texas. I must say that we were not disappointed.

    Read about the apple’s features —

    https://www.sunset.com/food-wine/pan...le-new-variety

    While we are on the subject of apples, the article below is about a group which has searched for a legendary Colorado apple thought to be extinct for years and the search has resulted in success. That apple is named the Colorado Orange apple.

    https://www.sunset.com/food-wine/col...ple-rare-found
    ...............
    ”Life is tough; tougher if you are stupid.” — John Wayne

  2. #2
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    I wish them well.

    I may have told this story before, but here it goes again. We lived in an area that had a lot of fruit orchards, primarily apples and peaches. To supplement our dairy income my father hauled fruit into the NYC produce market, among a few others.

    I recall a conversation between my father and one of the leading orchardmen about Red Delicious apples. His very real concern was that the Red Delicious would be the demise of the Apple business. There was no value in that Apple and at some point people would just stop buying apples.

    Unfortunately he passed away long before the salvation of the orchard business began.

    My own small orchard is made up of a variety of old apples, like Winesap, Rome, Macintosh, but nary a one Red Delicious.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacojoe View Post
    While we are on the subject of apples, the article below is about a group which has searched for a legendary Colorado apple thought to be extinct for years and the search has resulted in success. That apple is named the Colorado Orange apple.

    https://www.sunset.com/food-wine/col...ple-rare-found
    Take note that this is a local organization here in Montezuma County. This is an interesting endeavor if you are into that sort of thing. One recent project planted a number of seedlings (clones?) from these heirloom varieties in the outfield of the baseball field. (behind the fence - its some kind of school project that I don't know much about)

    I will try to dig up some links to our local paper. They have a couple of articles a year about the efforts to save these rare trees.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  4. #4
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    I want to go to their fundraiser this summer. Linky

    https://the-journal.com/articles/142...eritage-apples

    My wife knows the Schuenemeyer's. The MORP has an email newsletter that my wife said she would forward to me so I can post it up if I remember.

    A search of "montezuma orchard" returned over 200 articles in the local paper, so you should have plenty to do if you want to buy the $1/week subscription.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  5. #5
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    From the MORP December newsletter:

    The Elusive Colorado Orange


    If you were searching for the elusive Colorado Orange apple would you not find it a hopeful sign to find an orange apple on an old tree with an orange cat? We did. It was also in a tree that the owner claimed to be a Colorado Orange. The owner's story was credible. The age and location of the orchard added up. All this was hopeful, but we needed more. We had once thought that a gold standard of apple identification was have an old timer know and tell you an apple by name, but we have since learned that it is commonplace to have apple names misplaced and misremembered over the passage of time. Such a story played out when we thought we had found the lost Colorado Orange several years back. Not only one, but many old timers called it a Colorado Orange, but genetic fingerprinting matched it to York Imperial. So we had this tree DNA tested too. The results were very hopeful. It has "unique unknown" genetics meaning although it is a grafted tree, it does not match to any other named cultivar located in the USDA apple collection that grows in Geneva, New York.
    USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection




    Apple identification the old fashioned way can be tricky. Sometimes apples that are the same, look different, and apples that are different, look the same. Sometimes you think you know an apple then it changes its ways depending on region grown, location in canopy, stage of ripening, and growing conditions. Some degree of variation is represented in the four available watercolor paintings of the Colorado Orange which were done by four separate USDA artists during the early 1900's. What is most consistent is the apple's oblate shape. Overall, we are looking for a medium to large sized, oblate, yellow apple, sometimes blushed orange, often ribbed, often with russet cavity and russet dots. Written historical records describe it as a yellow or orange, late winter apple .

    It is not uncommon for folks to share their very best specimens when wanting help with apple identification. Just like we did. We showed you a photo of the orange colored apple with orange cat. What we need to also tell you is all the other apples on the tree were yellow and not quite as gorgeous as the one we chose to showcase.

    After comparing the possible Colorado Orange apples to the watercolors, including cutting them open and comparing the insides, we had an added degree of confidence of having found what we were looking for. If only we could match it to a known horticultural specimen. But how to do that if all were lost?
    A Saved Wax Apple Collection

    This is where the story turns to apples picked from a 100 year old tree meeting wax apples made at the beginning of the 20th century. For years, every time we made a research trip to the CSU archives we would wander to the old agriculture building to view a small display of wax apples made by the late Professor Miriam Palmer, replicas of actual apples that won awards at Colorado's early horticultural fairs. Were there more wax apples? Hanging above the display was a Miriam Palmer painting of many more apples including the Colorado Orange. Long story short, after many trips and knocks on the door we never were able to meet with the now retired Professor Hughes to inquire more, but the door finally opened one afternoon and we introduced ourselves to the new Professor of Horticulture, Mark Uchanski. And sitting in the office, in boxes, was an entire wax apple collection not unwrapped it turns out since the early 1970's! We immediately contacted Linda Meyer at the CSU archives. Think our enthusiasm was contagious. The collection is now preserved in well padded boxes, archived and in order, along with their original index cards listing growers name and date. (The finer details of this collection are for another story)

    A few days ago, we were able to view the collection. We took actual apple samples from the possible Colorado Orange to compare to a wax cast of a horticulture specimen that grew over a 100 years ago. Yes, there was a Colorado Orange in the box! Its shape and color match to the real life apples. We cannot taste or smell or cut it open for comparison, of course, but this may be as close as we get. Now we are 98% sure give or take 3% we have found the elusive Colorado Orange apple.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  6. #6
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    ^^^
    History from another direction! You have to admire people’s passions here.

    While I am not much of an apple devote’, especially coming from a non-apple growing area, I have one distinctive recollection of apples that has stuck out for both myself and my wife — we stopped at a little store north of Sedona, Arizona, up Oak Creek Canyon at a place called Slide Rock, which had a store and an apple orchard. This is not too far from Curt, I would suppose. We did not taste the apples, but the apple cider from them was simply remarkable. We packed the motorhome’s refrigerator with as much as we could.
    ...............
    ”Life is tough; tougher if you are stupid.” — John Wayne

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacojoe View Post
    ^^^ I have one distinctive recollection of apples that has stuck out for both myself and my wife — we stopped at a little store north of Sedona, Arizona, up Oak Creek Canyon at a place called Slide Rock, which had a store and an apple orchard. This is not too far from Curt, I would suppose. We did not taste the apples, but the apple cider from them was simply remarkable. We packed the motorhome’s refrigerator with as much as we could.
    And in yet another tangent, I was born and raised in Cottonwood, next door to Sedona. I went to NAU in Flagstaff for a couple of years and drove Oak Creek Canyon every week (often on my motorcycle). Sedona as y'all know it is a recent phenomenon. When I was a kid, there wasn't even a high school there and all of the Sedona kids came to our high school. Now kids in Sedona don't even know the rest of the world exists because they are blinded by the beauty of their new age paradise.

    Back to Slide Rock; we used to party there whn I was in high school. It was a local swimming hole. Ahhhh, I still have memories of naked girls laying on the rocks. The sweet corn from there is outstanding as well. I still go back home every year, often to hunt in the hills around Sedona. My wife when we were looking for her Coues deer one year.
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    Last edited by CactusCurt; 01-01-2020 at 02:10 PM.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  8. #8
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    Location
    San Antonio, Tx.
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    16,559
    My first visit to Sedona was right after a nice snow event...spectacular!

    I’ll bet you natives look with disdain on us interlopers on your paradise. That ride up the Oak Creek highway to Flagstaff on a motorcycle is a ride to envy!!!
    ...............
    ”Life is tough; tougher if you are stupid.” — John Wayne

  9. #9
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    Arizona is cursed with beauty and fair weather and has been doomed and dieing since I was a kid. I love my beloved native state and have spent time in nearly every nook, cranny, and corner. I spent my younger days hiking, hunting and fishing and then my post college years working in the civil construction business so have been on every road, bridge, dam, and mine across the state. I have been to pretty much every recreation site in the state and can say with certainty it is being over used and in many cases ruined already.

    You have to move to where the ground freezes and they go icefishing to get away from the people.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Location
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    I should add that the one thing the west has going for it is an abundance of public lands that are off limits to development. The landscape will survive.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

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