Applooza came to the Lawrence Farmers Market last weekend, and what a treat! Apples, apples and more apples burdened the vendors’ tables, and former market apple mainstay Laurie Walters answered questions under the market tent where 18 varieties of apple (by my count) were available for tasting.
I tried several new-to-me varieties but stupidly didn’t take anything to write on and, therefore, don’t remember which tastes went with what flavors. Nevertheless, based partly on the tasting and partly on Joanne’s recommendations, I bought a half-dozen or so of both Arkansas Black and Honeycrisp apples.
Then I came upon Floyd Ott’s table. Ott, another familiar face at the market, had apples upon apples, by the pound and by the bucket. (A Journal-World story in 1997 had him growing 60 varieties!) How could I resist a 5-gallon bucket of apples for $5? Well, I couldn’t. These are supposedly “seconds,” but whatever flaws they have are primarily cosmetic. I told him I wanted apples for pies, and Ott recommended a bucket with mostly Jonathan (I think) and Golden Delicious. As he transferred the apples to two one-peck bags (each totaling about 10 pounds), we talked about apples and chemicals.
Ott said, yes, he sprays his apples, twice each season compared with three or four times for many area orchardists. But, no, he’s tested and there’s no residue come harvest. I’m probably odd, but I’m more concerned about residue in the environment than in my mouth, and I’m reasonably ignorant on these matters. Still, spraying twice sounds better than spraying four times, and no one around here grows apples organically. (I seem to recall hearing that the relatively high humidity compared with, say, Washington, makes organic apple growing more difficult here due to fungus potential.)
I’ve been eating more than my daily apple but haven’t gotten around to doing any of the prep that those 20 pounds of apples may require to cook. I’ll get to it one of these days. I’ll probably make pies and crisps and freeze some prepped slices. What do you like to do with my favorite fall fruit?