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Monday, February 15, 2021

These Are a Few of my Favorite Fruits

I've been gardening here in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, and also gardened in other parts of the country with different climates, so I was not familiar with varieties that would do well here and had to research new varieties. I planted several apples, my favorite is one named Liberty (from spraying!). She lives up to her name wonderfully, unlike Freedom, which eventually became diseased and had to be cut down. Liberty is late, which helps the pollinators to be around when she is blooming, and makes applesauce work come in the fall when I have more time. Liberty is loaded with wonderful apples, which are hard and  not the best fresh apples but make delightful applesauce with exquisite flavor and texture. 

William's Pride blooms close to Liberty in time, and ripens close to the same time, it is a hard apple and also has wonderful flavor when cooked for applesauce, the flavor seems to complement Liberty when cooked together.

An apple that I love for fresh eating is the yellow apple 'Greensleeves". The apples are large and have a great flavor and texture, and rarely have pest damage. I didn't find a photo of the fruit, just the tree, which has been the only apple I have been able to keep pruned to a size easy to pick.

Grapes have done really well here too, and the vines go crazy and try to grow up into nearby trees. The variety that makes the most grapes is the purple Glenora, sweet and seedless.

Some other favorite fruits are blueberries, I tried to get a wide range of ripening times so there would be a long season of berries. Some I grow are Chandler, Blueray, Patriot, Liberty, and Darrow. 

A last berry I like, Aronia, is the healthiest fruit in my garden for anti-oxidants. They are a very dark purplish blue and while my husband likes to eat them on his cereal, I prefer them cooked and sweetened with stevia, to make gelatin, they have a rich taste, obviously healthy. My grandkids like them as gelatin, too. The bushes are much larger than the catalogs say they should be, 12' or more tall, I have to pick them on a ladder inside of the bush.  I have to be sure not to wait too late, or the birds will come and clean them all out.  Here they are still green. They are borne on stems hanging from a central clump so that makes them easy to break off and put the whole clump in the bag. Then in the house I can pick the berries off the stems and put them in freezer bags.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorites. What are yours?    


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