Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Fall Harvest at Peter Wentz
I mentioned before that Grace is apprenticing at the Peter Wentz Farmstead. She helped out at Sheep Shearing day and two different summer camps this year. This past Saturday she participated in the Fall Harvest helping out at the cider pressing demonstration.
This was a much better experience for her than the last event because the man who who was running this demonstration knew more about apples, apple trees and apple cider than anyone I have every met. One quick fact I learned of the hundreds that he shared with us is that during the 18th century there were over 4,000 known and named varieties of apples! And all those different apples were known for their different purposes. Some were good for keeping, some for eating right away (at-hand apples), sauce, pies, drying, and cider. These you would be hard pressed to find more than 12 varieties in the store.
The other thing we learned is that you cannot grow apple trees from seed if you want to produce the same variety. Because they are open pollinators you never know what you are going to get. If you want a Macintosh apple tree you need to take a branch from a Macintosh apple tree and graft it on to another apple tree (usually a crab-apple) root stock. The grafting process is fascinating in and of itself, but I won't bore you with the details.
So Grace was very happy to be apprenticing at this station because she learned so much this time.