Experimental Homestead

Taste Testing Seven Summer Apples, Head to Head



Untold hours of research into apple geekery has, Among other things, resulted in a fair collection of early apples with high reputations. Although many have not lived up their reputations, At least not in my climate, my last taste test of two early crab apples, TRAILMAN and CENTENNIAL was very encouraging  This week I got to taste 7 early apples that are in eating around early to mid August.  The results didn’t surprise me. I’ve tasted most of these apples before. Still, it was very revealing to taste all of them at the same time and compare directly.  What did surprise me was significant red staining in the flesh of William’s pride, making it a good candidate for my red fleshed apple breeding efforts, along with it’s other merits.

For anyone searching for good early apples,the winners in this tasting are good at any season and very exceptional for early apples. There are other apples which I grow that ripen in the same season, but for various reasons, like birds, Drought, and alternate bearing, I didn’t have any specimens to add. So, they will have to wait for another year.  Most promising among those so far are probably St. Edmunds russet, Irish peach and golden nugget.  I also just today discovered an entire cordon Mother apples (Mother is the variety name) that I hadn’t noticed. I’ve had them before, but I just ate one that was by far the best I’ve ever had, and it may have been a contender up against the winners of this taste test.  Extremely sweet with lots of rich flavor.  This one may have been an early drop.  It takes a while to learn when to pick and eat each variety.

Although there are quite a few things left to finish up, the basic architecture of my new website is up and running.  In addition to whatever new stuff I come up with, it will house all of the old turkeysong posts, As well as those from the Paleotechnics blog. As a project, it is much more in line with my General thinking and philosophy regarding knowledge in practical arts, in that the scope is much broader. I’ll explain that more in a future post, but I’m going to keep this short because I am using speech to text software.  I have tendonitis from working on the computer too much in designing and executing the website for the past two weeks!
For now, all content will be posted to both blogs for a couple/few weeks until everything is moved over and running smoothly at which time comments on this blog will be disabled and I’ll stop posting here.  it will be kept as an archive though. I’ll miss the old turkeysong blog, but I’m very excited about the new site, the YouTube channel, and the entire project which includes turkeysong, All the experiments going on here and writing projects, all of which my life is completely integrated into.  I’m entirely focused on this project and this idea.  Check out the new site. It has all the content from this site, with all of the old comments, but is designed for  easy navigation by visual categories. I hope most of you Will make the move with me.  I got the blog subscription forms working last night.   More on all that soon!

August 23, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Great post..The amount of work you’ve done with these apples is amazing, have to say I’m a bit jealous. Trying to grow a couple of basic varieties in North Florida, (Dorsett, Anna, Tropic Sweet) and it’s been a challenge to say the least, the heat, the rain, the heat, the rain..you get the idea. Most of my trees are right around a old, so I am still very early on in my quest to grow apples..One thing I’m curious about is your recommended watering for new trees, i.e how often and how long.. I recently planted a new tree and we’ve had rain almost every day for the last two weeks, so I haven’t needed to supplement.. Other than that I look forward to your posts..Your blog gives me hope that I might find success one day. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by jeremymillrood | August 24, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks Jeremy. Real results are only just starting to come in now that I can compare multiple varieties. I would have had results sooner had I planted more dwarf and restricted forms. I really like the diagonal cordon AKA oblique cordon. They produce high quality fruit I’m coming to bearing very fast on working stocks like bud nine. I prefer to water deeply and infrequently so that the trees root deeply and are more self-sufficient in drought. Actually I prefer not to water all! But that’s not always the best idea. I do prefer not to overwater however, Because it can really dilute the flavor and intensity of the Apple, including sugar content. Essentially at waters them down. Down there, because of the more consistent higher temperatures, I would think that it would be inadvisable to keep them wet all the time. Of course there’s not too much you can do about that if it’s the weather watering your trees. You probably need to seek local advice regarding that Point. I imagine you’ve ended up here through Florida survival gardening, But if not do keep an eye on David the good’s experiments in growing apples. I sent him some king David to try it out. It is a heat tolerant low to no chill Apple of all around excellent quality. I have Dorsett but it hasn’t frittered yet and isn’t growing well. If flowers are completely bizarre times.

      Comment by Stevene | August 24, 2015 | Reply

  2. I remember seeing how you did the diagonal planting..pretty clever..considering the limited amount of space at my house that might be the best way to go..would certainly give me the opportunity to plant more trees..I’m trying to avoid over-watering, but like you said, that can be tough in the summer with all the rain we get…Yes, I found you through David’s survival gardening site..he had a link to your post about the franken-tree, and that caught my attention. After seeing that I decided to try my hand (unsuccessfully) at grafting..Last I checked his graft with the King David was successful, maybe when my trees mature a bit I’ll take another crack at it with King David. Thanks again for all the info.

    Comment by jeremymillrood | August 24, 2015 | Reply

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