Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Delicious homegrown apples...in a few years, maybe

This past fall, Nicole and I got some gargantuan apples from my cousins up north in Wisconsin. I mean, these suckers were as big as grapefruits! I guess apple trees love the "natural fertilizer" cows provide. The apples looked like a cross between a Jonagold and a Cortland - yellowish with lots of pink and red streaks. Haven't yet been able to confirm the exact variety, though (might need to take a trip to Thorpe and see the tree).

Anyway, when Nicole cut them up and turned them into pies, I figured, what the hell, let's save some of the seeds and see if we can get them to germinate. Our online research indicated the best way to do this was to keep them between moist sheets of paper towels in the fridge. But after more than a month, all we saw was a little pink residue on the paper towels.

Nonetheless, I planted about a dozen seeds a few months ago, and after a few days of watering, woohoo, seedlings! So now we have 6 potential trees growing on our sill. The tallest, shown here, measures about 8" with a hardy-looking stalk. Not sure where we'll plant them yet (it's not like we have room for an orchard in our backyard) or if we'll be able to pollenate them effectively, but who knows, maybe a few years from now we'll be baking a bunch of king-size apple pies with apples plucked from our very own tree!

UPDATE: We're still nurturing three beautiful apple saplings in 2012! Click here to read a recap of our apple tree experience.

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