KevinTV

Apple Blossom

05.27.11

Apple blossom. It’s become a time of year that gets me excited for things to come, and wanting to slow time down to be able to enjoy the beauty of it all. I suppose this is simply an outcome of being more connected to my food – seasonal treasures like this simply make life more enjoyable.

I now understand why folks in days past often built root cellars primarily for potatoes and apples. Apples are a provider of wealth. Our tree produces 200+ lbs a year. I’ve spent a few years taming the tree via pruning, so the fruit is getting less numerous, but larger and riper, yielding roughly the same amount by weight from year to year. It has not skipped a year, as you often hear apples do. It provides us with fresh fruit for months, 4-5 cases of apple wine, and various other by-products – including apple wood for smoking pork.

I’m a firm believer that apples deserve a prominent role in our northerly food culture – so much so that I’m headed to Normandy in September to immerse myself in an apple culture, to get ideas, education, and inspiration. Don’t have an apple tree? Don’t need one. Our city is so full of them that tonnes of fruit get put in the bin every year by owners frustrated with the mess of food. Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton is a genius organization trying to change that. This year is doubly exciting as they get further geared up with a crusher and press for volunteer use – how cool is that!?!? I see cider in many an Edmontonian’s future.

10 Responses

  1. Marcus says:

    Normandy? Like Europe? Dude, you rock. Can’t wait to glean from what you learn!

  2. Evelyn says:

    I pressed cider with OFRE last year and loved the results. I’ve been hoarding the last jar otherwise my kids would have gulped it down way ahead of me. It’s so much better than my own apple juice. Maybe because it’s made with so many varieties of apples? Whatever the reason, I plan to make more this year and pick more with OFRE.

  3. For Calgarian readers interested in helping rescue apples, see the website below:

    http://www.calgaryharvest.com/

    We have 4+ apples trees within 5 minute walk from our home in neighbour’s yards. We usually pick about 1/4 of the apples from our favourite tree which provides enough apple sauce to last a year! Most neighbours are glad to have less apples to rake up and throw in the garbage.

  4. Kevin says:

    Marcus – yep, that Normandy.
    Evelyn – I’m all over the cider making this year. I’ll see you there!
    CGA – Thanks for sharing this resource – fantastic. Connecting those with fruit to those that want is such a win-win endeavor.

  5. Amy Beaith says:

    Hi Kevin, thanks so much for mentioning us on your blog! I’m very excited about this years season and making cider with volunteers. OFRE has barely scratched the surface in terms of how much fruit is growing in the city. Something many of us haven’t often taken the time to think about, but are starting to. It’s been humbling to see that something so small as picking fruit and sharing it with other people in your community can have such a large impact. I think because it’s small, it resonates with our volunteers as something achievable. something they can do. Last year OFRE volunteers picked and donated over 1000kg of fruit to Edmonton organizations such as the foodbank. Small changes can produce big results. Here’s to making cider in Edmonton!

  6. Amy Beaith says:

    Hi Kevin, Here is a fun little diagram of what fruits are growing in Edmonton. Link: http://ofre.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/screen-shot-2011-05-29-at-8-12-33-pm1.png

  7. Hey!
    Gorgeous blooms! Our tree is clearly on hiatus this year. I think the Harcourt is a tree that does go crazy every other year. I know the Evan’s Cherry is known for that. Last year our cherry tree was completely white – then a massive wind tore off all the blossoms and we barely got a thing. This is the off year, and the wind is still working at those delicate blossoms. I actually thought about putting a sheet around it! Ah, well. Nature and our harvest.
    :)

  8. jeff says:

    Hey Kevin
    Yes the apple blossoms were rampant at my neighbours a week or two back as well. Gets me excited for the crush and press this year. I already have a freezer full of rhubarb for this years batch of wine which I hope to impove on last years with some tweaking.
    I was wondering if you filtered your apple wines at all? I let mine sit ( two different batches) for approx 7 or 8 months in the carboy and at bottling time it was brilliantly clear ( I used sparkkaloid to assist) Then I filtered it prior to bottling through a medium pad on a mini jet and now, a few months later, I am seeing small deposits of sediment in the bottles.

    Actually all of my fruit wines have done this after a few months in the bottle. Apple, saskatoon, and rhubarb. It could possibly be the last bit of sugar used for sweetening but Im not exactly sure.

    Have you had any experience like this? Do you do any back sweetening at all to your apple wine or is it pure and dry?
    Heres hoping the saskatoon bushes produce nicely this year.

    Cheers

    JM

  9. Kevin says:

    Amy – cool diagram!
    Jeff – I don’t filter ever, or do fining of any kind. I’m not sure what the sediment is, but I’m good with a little sediment, so I have spent very little time considering options for eliminating it. I back sweeten it at time of consumption, depends on the batch, but never in the bottle for fear of them fermenting again and popping corks.
    Would love to try your wines one day!

  10. [...] I wrote about the making of it here and here. You can watch the stuff ferment here. You can even back way up and check out the flower blossom stage here. [...]

Leave a Reply


× 2 = eight