CSA Updates

2021 Fruit Share


This week's share

CSA Fruitshare. 11/17/2021

Rhode Island GreeningRhode Island Greening is well-known American heirloom apple variety, dating back to the 17th century.  That makes it a very old apple; there are not many European apples that can be traced back as far as Rhode Island Greening.  The main reason for this enduring success is that Rhode Island Greening is the definitive apple for American apple pie.  It is one of those apples (like the English Bramley) that really benefits from cooking to bring out the full richness and sweetness of flavor.  Whilst it can be eaten fresh after a period in storage, it is essentially a hard and uncompromising apple, far better in the kitchen. It tends to keep its shape when cooked.  Interesting to note-Rhode Island Greening is a triploid apple variety – with three sets of chromosomes rather than the usual two sets (diploid). 

Newtown PippinNewtown Pippin is one of the oldest American apple varieties, being well-known in the 18th century and probably raised as a seedling by early settlers on Long Island.  It was introduced from the USA to England in the mid 1750s – making it an old variety even by English standards.  Newtown Pippin was popularised by such well-known figures such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and was very much an apple of its time.  It is also often called Albemarle Pippin.  Newtown Pippin is a notably versatile apple, being excellent for eating fresh, cooking, and for juicing and hard cider.  When cooked Newtown Pippin retains some of its shape, and produces a textured puree with a very good rich flavor – definitely a very high quality culinary apple.

CSA Fruitshare   11/10/2021  

SunCrisp-A crisp, firm yellow apple with a distinctive red blush. Formerly known as NJ55, SunCrisp was developed at Rutgers and is the result of cross-breeding Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Cox’s Orange Pippin. A hard tart, long keeping apple, it is great for storing and baking; and is easier to handle than Golden Delicious which tends to bruise easily.

Golden Delicious-apples are pale green to golden yellow in color and speckled with small lenticels (spots). They are small to medium in size, and tend to be conical or oblong in shape. Golden Delicious apples are firm, crisp, and white-fleshed. These apples have a balanced sweet-tart aromatic flavor, which has been described as honeyed. The flavor varies depending on where these apples are grown; in a cool climate, the amount of acid increases, actually creating a sweeter flavor. 

Fuji-apples are the sweetest apples in the world. They’re the most popular apple variety in all of Japan. Their crisp, refreshing flavor is a favorite all over the world, making them one of the best apple varieties for snacking.

CSA Fruitshare-10/20/21

Mutsu- is a variety that was developed in Japan in the 1930s.  It’s a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo.  Mutsus have a sweet, creamy flavor.  Because of their large size, they are GREAT for recipes – or for sharing with a friend!  Mutsu apples are known for their sweet-honeyed flavor mixed with sharp, tangy, and acidic notes.

Golden Delicious- are pale green to golden yellow in color and speckled with small spots. They are small to medium in size, and tend to be conical/oblong in shape. Golden Delicious apples are firm, crisp, and white-fleshed. These apples have a balanced sweet-tart aromatic flavor, which has been described as honeyed. The sweet-tartness of the Golden Delicious means this apple is a good fresh eating variety. Fresh, raw apple slices may be added to green salads, fruit salads, or grain salads. Golden Delicious apples also have the necessary acid content and stability for baking. 

Northern Spy- is a very old-fashioned American variety which still retains its popularity.  It is a typical winter apple variety, picked in late October or early November, and then used through the winter months.  It keeps in a cold store well into spring.  Northern Spy has thin skin and very crisp delicious flesh with a sweet/tart flavor prized for cooking and fresh eating. 

CSA Fruitshare- 10/13/2021

Rhode Island Greening-Identified around 1650 (!) the Rhode Island Greening was long considered the finest cooking variety for over 200 years. Around 1900,  it was the second most important commercial variety in the country, after Baldwin. It is supposed to have originated as a chance seedling outside a tavern in the town of Green’s End, near Newport.  This variety was originally referred to as the “apple from Green’s End, Rhode Island” by travelers who stayed at the inn and spread its fame around colonial New England.  It is crisp, juicy and quite tart, making it an excellent winter keeper and one of the best cooking apples

SunCrisp-A crisp, firm yellow apple with a distinctive red blush. Formerly known as NJ55, SunCrisp was developed at Rutgers and is the result of cross-breeding Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Cox’s Orange Pippin. A hard tart, long keeping apple, it is great for storing and baking; and is easier to handle than Golden Delicious which tends to bruise easily.

Bosc Pear – Often called the “aristocrat of pears”, due to its regal appearance! Characteristic features are a long tapering neck and russet skin. Famous for its warm cinnamon color, the Bosc pear is often used in drawings, paintings, and photography due to its shape. Bosc pears are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than other pear varieties. As a result, the complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness of Bosc can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened.

Ida Red-is a cross of two NY apples — Jonathan and Wagener made at the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station and released commercially in 1942. It’s a bright red apple that is firm and keeps well.  It’s a good eating apple but it is also widely used in sauces and pies and as an excellent baking apple. Ida Red’s flavor is tangy and tart. Leave the skins on when cooking your apples down for sauce, then run it through a food mill  and your Ida Red sauce will have a lovely pink color.

CSA Fruitshare- 10/6/2021

Macoun – Macoun apples are a mix between McIntosh and Jersey Black varieties.  It was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, by R. Wellington.  Named after Canadian fruit grower W.T. Macoun, they were first introduced in 1923, and have almost always been regarded as one of the finest apples in the Northeast.  Loved for their sweet-tart flavor, Macoun has a harder, crisper flesh than the Mac, and its complex flavor hints of strawberry and spices. Macouns have a striated green and red color similar to a Cortland, and a sometimes angular, almost boxy shape, further distinguishing it from McIntosh.

Kendall – Kendall is a large, round shiny apple.  The flavors are mild and sweet, with vinous notes, berries, and hints of plums and watermelon-flavored candy. Compared to MacIntosh, the Kendall is bigger, less tart, less crisp, and less complex, but it is clearly a member of the family.  Multiple sources identify Kendall as a McIntosh x Zussof cross bred by noted pomologist Richard Wellington in the early 20th century.

Bosc Pear – Often called the “aristocrat of pears”, due to its regal appearance! Characteristic features are a long tapering neck and russet skin. Famous for its warm cinnamon color, the Bosc pear is often used in drawings, paintings, and photography due to its shape. Bosc pears are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than other pear varieties. As a result, the complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness of Bosc can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened.

CSA Fruit Share-September 27th

Cortland – This all purpose apple was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, USA in 1898. The apple was named after nearby Cortland County, New York. Extremely slow to brown when cut, the Cortland apple is perfect for use in fresh apple preparations. Slice thin and add to sandwiches, burgers, and quesadillas. Use in lieu of crackers and pair with sweet and savory dips or flavorful cheeses. The sweet-tart flavor of the Cortland apple also shines in cooked preparations. Bake into cakes, tarts, cobbler, and quiche, or slow cook to make soups, sauces, and preserves. They do not store exceptionally well, and should be eaten soon after harvest for best flavor and texture.

 

Macoun – Macoun apples are a mix between McIntosh and Jersey Black varieties.  It was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, by R. Wellington.  Named after Canadian fruit grower W.T. Macoun, they were first introduced in 1923, and have almost always been regarded as one of the finest apples in the Northeast.  Loved for their sweet-tart flavor, Macoun has a harder, crisper flesh than the Mac, and its complex flavor hints of strawberry and spices. Macouns have a striated green and red color similar to a Cortland, and a sometimes angular, almost boxy shape, further distinguishing it from McIntosh.

Empire – Empire is a modern variety introduced in 1966 and developed at the NY State Agricultural Station in Geneva, NY. It has a deep red skin, creamy white interior, and is a cross between a McIntosh and Red Delicious. The Empire is considered a high-quality eating apple. It’s great for eating out of hand – just the right size and proportion; and its heartiness makes the Empire a GREAT lunchbox apple! We love this mid-season apple for its versatility, its pleasing shape and flavor, and the way our Empires sparkle on the trees when the morning sunlight hits the hillside terraces. 

CSA Fruit Share – September 20th

Monday-Wednesday fruit share pickups feature Macintosh (Gala for Upswing Farm) and Cox Orange Pippin apples and Bartlett pears. Thursday-Saturday substitutes the Gala for the Mac.

MacIntosh Apple

The McIntosh Red cultivar has red and green skin, a tart flavor, and tender white flesh and is traditionally the most popular cultivar in New England.

It is believed every McIntosh apple is descended from a single tree discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm in Dundela, Ontario. An emigré from New York’s Mohawk Valley, McIntosh happened upon several wild apple seedlings growing in the woods on his newly acquired land in Canada. He transplanted some trees to his garden, and by the following year only one had survived with the tree producing the crisp, delicious fruit that everyone is familiar with. For years, he had no luck propagating the variety because apples don’t grow true from seed until his son, Allen, learned from a visitor the art of grafting cuttings or scions from the original tree. With this cloning technique at their disposal, production of the McIntosh Red could finally branch out (sorry about the pun!).

The original tree that spawned this legacy was damaged by fire in 1894. The McIntosh family nursed the old tree along until 1908 — the last year it produced a crop — and in 1910, it fell over. A headstone now marks the spot where the tree stood for so many years.

Cox Orange Pippin Apple

Cox’ Orange Pippin originated in England in the 19th century as a chance seedling, and has inspired apple lovers ever since. Cox’ Orange Pippins are a European favorite and possess a rich and complex flavor. Cox’ Orange Pippin are known to be difficult to grow — especially in North America. We ignored the literature and went ahead and planted – with surprisingly good results! Our COPs have a loyal following with many people calling and inquiring by email when they’ll be ready. They are considered by Europeans as the ultimate “dessert” apple – one you would eat out of hand vs. using in a recipe or crushing for cider. Enjoy-hard to find locally grown! 

Bartlett Pear

Pears ripen OFF the tree. Let them ripen until the area near the stem yields to slight pressure and the color turns a golden yellow.  The Bartlett Pear we know today in the U.S. is the same variety that is called the “Williams” in other parts of the world. Discovered in England, by a schoolmaster named Stair, it was later acquired by Mr. Williams who propagated the variety and introduced it throughout England.

In 1799, Williams pear trees were planted in Roxbury. Later, Enoch Bartlett of Dorchester acquired the land and not knowing the identity of the trees, he propagated the variety and distributed it under his own name. It was not until 1828, when new trees arrived from Europe, it was discovered that Bartlett and Williams pears were one and the same. By then it was too late and the variety had become widely popular in the U.S. under its adopted name.

Gala Apples

Gala apples were discovered in New Zealand circa 1934 by Orchardist J.H. Kidd.  One of the most widely grown apple varieties in the world, Gala is a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious.  Bearing in mind that Kidd’s Orange Red is the offspring of Cox’s Orange Pippin and (Red) Delicious, Gala is effectively a union of three of the world’s most important and distinctive apple varieties. The colouration of Gala is exactly as you would expect, mainly orange streaks over yellow; mature apples are much darker, often a strong red colour.It has to be said that if you want a reliable sweet easy-eating apple, Gala is actually hard to beat. However, anyone fortunate enough to have tried a Gala straight from the tree will know that it has a surprisingly punchy sweet flavour.

CSA Fruit Share –  September 13th

This week brings a trio of apple delights – crisp and flavorful Macintosh, sweet and popular Honey Crisp and refreshing Ginger Golds (first half week pickups). Also, this week we are excited to supply our first pear of the season – the Bartlett.  These pears are picked green and allowed to ripen in our refrigerator and they will continue to ripen to your perfection on your counter. Bartletts are all pear – aromatic, juicy and mildly sweet.

Summer Fruit Share –  September 6th

Oasis Springs – Ginger Gold apples and Sugar Giant peaches

Medway Community Farm – Ginger Gold apples and Sugar Giant peaches for Tuesday and Gala apples and Gloria peaches for Thurs/Sat

Stearns Farm – Ginger Gold apples and Sugar Giant peaches for Tuesday. Gala, Macs, Honeycrisp apples and Sweet;n Up peaches for Friday pickup

Lindentree – Ginger Gold (Tuesday) and Gala (Thursday/Sat) apples and Sugar Giant peaches

Upswing Farm – Ginger Gold and Gala apples, Sugar Giants peaches and Red Gold Nectarines for Tuesday pickup and Gala apples and Sweet’n Up peaches for Thursday 

Drumlin Farm, Newton Community Farm – Ginger Gold and Gala apples and Gloria peaches

Waltham Fields Community Farms– Ginger Gold and Gala apples and Gloria peaches for Wed/Thrs pickup. Gala, Macs, Honeycrisp apples and Sweet’n Up peaches for Saturday

Glorias are a new, mid-season peach variety out of the Rutgers Fruit Program and boast large, highly colored fruit. These freestone peaches are firm and sweet making them excellent choices for desserts. Another mid-season freestone, Sweet’n Up are a very large and juicy and sport a red-blush skin and yellow flesh. Both peaches are considered high-quality varieties.

Gala is a cross between Cox type varieties and Golden Delicious and popular worldwide. Know as a reliable, sweet eating apple, but Gala off of our trees pack a significant flavor punch over those sold in grocery stores.

Summer Fruit Share – August 30th

Oasis Springs– Paula Red and Gravenstein apples, Redhaven Peaches and Red Gold Nectarines

Medway Community Farm – Ginger Gold and Gravenstein apples, Redhaven peaches (Tuesday pick-up), Sugar Giant peaches (Thr/Sat) and Red Gold Nectarines

Stearns Farm – Ginger Gold and Gravenstein (Tuesday pickup) apples, Redhaven (Tuesday) and Sugar Giant peaches and Red Gold Nectarines

Upswing Farm – Ginger Gold and Gravenstein apples (Tuesday only), Redhaven Peaches and Red Gold Nectarines

Drumlin Farm, Newton Community Farm and Waltham Fields Community Farms– Ginger Gold and Gravenstein apples, Sugar Giant peaches and Red Gold Nectarines

Lindentree Farm – Ginger Gold, Paula Red and Gravenstein apples, Redhaven Peaches (Tues pickup), Sugar Giant (Thrs pickup) and Red Gold Nectarines

Paula Red apples boast a sweet tart flavor with a hint of strawberry. The firm flesh makes this apple great for eating raw, as well as a great cooking apple including pies and applesauce. See prior CSA posts for descriptions of Ginger Golds and our Gravenstein.  

Redhaven’s are a top-quality fruit with an almost fuzzless skin and a creamy textured yellow flesh. The large Sugar Giants have a firm white flesh with exceptional flavor. Not only juicy and sweet but great for canning, preserving, and eating of course, eating raw. 

Red Golds area a large freestone nectarine with a beautiful red blush skin and a yellow flesh that produces a great combination of sweet and tart flavors. 

Summer Fruit Share – August 18th, Drumlin Farm

This week’s fruit share contains Star Fire Peaches, Gravenstein Apples and Somerset Grapes.

Our tree-ripened Star Fire’s have a nectar-sweet taste and a golden-yellow flesh. This large, beautiful fruit is a freestone variety and are great for eating fresh, canning, or making preserves.

Our Gravenstein’s are our most coveted apples at the orchard sought by true apple aficionados. These apples are grown on our oldest trees – nearly 90 years old. The Gravenstein was brought to America in the 18th Century from Denmark but most likely originated from Germany. These medium sized apples have a creamy white, honey scented flesh that are quite tangy and sweet at the same time. Enjoy, as these apples are hard to find in our area.

We capped off this week’s fruit share with Somerset grapes – an orchard crew favorite. We like to pick them and eat them! These diminutive seedless grapes bring big smiles with their firm and crisp flesh and unique juicy strawberry-sweet flavor. The are great eaten raw, in salads or for making jelly. 

Summer Fruit Share – August 11th, Drumlin Farm

This week’s fruit share contains Ginger Gold Apples, Silver Gem Nectarines and a duo of Plums.

Ginger Gold Apples are another early season apple at the orchard with a fine-textured, crisp flesh. The Golds are aromatic and have a sweet to mildly tart flavor. The primary use is for eating out of hand, though they can be used for most other purposes including salads, due to its resistance to browning and baking.

This week’s Silver Gems are accompanied by a mix of Methley and Shiro plums. Both are Japanese cultivars with the Methley having red and purple skin and a mild sweet taste. The Shiro is a larger yellow plum with a mild sweet flavor and lots of juice. 

Summer Fruit Share – August 6th, Drumlin Farm

Our first fruit share of the season contains a trio of early ripening fruit – Yellow Transparent Apples, Silver Gem Nectarines and Methley Plums.

Yellow Transparent are a soft early season apple and are named for their pale-yellow skin. They are light, sweet and refreshing. People are often surprised in New England that they ripen so early. They originate in Russia and were brough the United States in the mid 1800’s.

Silver Gem is a sweet, white-fleshed early season nectarine. They ripen about two weeks earlier than Redhavens and were developed by the Rutgers Tree fruit Breeding Program. Often thought of as the sweetest white-fleshed nectarine.

Methley Plums are a Japanese cultivar with a mild sweet flavor with red and purple skin. They were introduced to the United States from South Africa in the 1920’s. A favorite at Autumn Hills Orchard.

A glimpse of last year……

 October 5-10th-Apples:  Spencer, Empire, Encore Peaches as well as an apple medley including Gala, Cortland, Spencer, and Empire

September 28-October 3

Apples: Empire and Cortland; Concord Grapes or Peaches

September 21-26

Apples: Cox Orange Pippin and Macintosh; peaches and pluots or Concord Grapes.

September 14-18

Lindentree Farm, Newton Community Farm, Drumlin Farm, Medway Community Farm, Stearns Farm

Two thoroughly modern varieties!  Honeycrisp apples and Sugar Giant white peaches. A popular “new” variety, Honeycrisp was produced in 1960 from a cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program. The original seedling was planted in 1962 at the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and the resulting fruit is creamy, flavorful and juicy!  The Honeycrisp is actually protected under a patent and anyone wishing to propagate the variety must apply for a license.

The Sugar Giant peach is a white peach and a subacid type which makes it less tannic in flavor.  Patented in 1993 the Sugar Giant was developed by Floyd Zaiger, a prolific stone fruit breeder in Modesto, California, who is renowned among fruit growers for having developed scores of new varieties of peaches, plums and other stone fruit.  Mr. Zaiger also developed the Pluot — a cross between a plum and apricot.  We like the Sugar Giant’s mellow flavor and delicate color and are grateful for Mr. Zaiger’s efforts and accomplishments as a modern fruit pioneer.

September 7-11

Lindentree Farm, Newton Community Farm, Drumlin Farm

Gala apples, Red Gold nectarines (or peaches for some) and Bartlett Pears.  Pears ripen off the tree. They are hard and green when picked but let them ripen at room temperature and they will mellow and soften.  Pears are ready to eat when the flesh at the base of the stem gives ever-so-slightly to a bit of pressure.  The Gala apples are small this year.  Snackable and sweet.  Red Gold nectarines are sweet and tangy.

Medway Community Farm, Stearns Farm

Ginger Gold apples, Red Gold nectarines and Somerset grapes.  Somerset grapes were developed by University of Minnesota as a cold-hearty table grape.  We love their color and flavor.  Like little jewels!  Ginger Gold applea are a great, early, all-purpose apple.  Excellent for cooking and eating but as a summer apple we mostly eat them as it’s still too warm to think about much baking and dessert making.

 

September 2-6: Apples and nectarines (or peaches, perhaps)

Ginger Gold and Gravenstein apples.  Plus a few yellow peaches or little “Red Gold” nectarines.

Gravenstein was a popular variety in the 19th Century in the U.S.  Originally identified in Austria and widely cultivated in Denmark, Gravenstein is known as the national apple of Denmark! Much of Sonoma County in California was planted in Gravenstein for processing. Nowadays one sees vineyards along the “Gravenstein Highway” where orchards used to be.  Great for baking, they are flavorful and firm.

 Ginger Gold is a modern variety, introduced in the 1980’s.  It was a wild apple “sport” found on a farm in Virginia.  It’s crisp and flavorful — especially for an early “summer” apple.  GG’s are great for eating and cooking and we are always happy to serve them up in late August.

Note on Nectarines: A few share members may have peaches in your bag.  We’ll do our best to get you some nectarines next week.  It’s been challenging with weather and harvesting to provide uniform shares across the entire week — but we are trying!

Note for some Medway Community Farm Saturday (9/5) pick ups:  There may be a substitution of Paula Red in your bag instead of Gravenstein.  Paula Reds are a relative of Macinstosh but are harvested earlier. They are juicy, and sweetly mild without the tart finish of a Mac.  We like our Paula Reds cold out of the frig.  They are the perfect “kid snack” or lunchbox apple.  A great summer apple!

 
 August 27: for Lindentree Farm

This week brings more Ginger Gold apples, plus a few tart Gravenstein apples and Red Haven peaches.  Gravenstein was a popular variety in the 19th Century in the U.S.  Originally identified in Austria and widely cultivated in Denmark, Gravenstein is known as the national apple of Denmark! Much of Sonoma County in California was planted in Gravenstein for processing. Nowadays one sees vinyards along the “Gravenstein Highway” where orchards used to be.  Great for baking, they are flavorful and firm.

August 26: for Drumlin Farm
Peach-a-palooza! Peaches were in abundance this week so your share is nothing but Red Haven peaches.  We figured we might as well share the wealth as you’ll receive your share of apples in good time!  Most of your share is ready/ripe but you might find a few that will reach peak in a day or two.  Enjoy the bonanza!
 
August 19: Peaches and Gold

Finally the yellow peaches are ready!  They’ve taken their sweet time, likely due to the dry weather we’ve had. The peaches are small but we like their bite-sized proportions.  You don’t need a friend to share these 2020 summer peaches!  The varieties picked this week are Red Haven and Starfire.  They are very similar, and frankly, we can’t tell one from the other looking at them.  We just want to eat them all.

Ginger Gold apples are here! Ginger Gold is a modern variety, introduced in the 1980’s.  It was a wild apple “sport” found on a farm in Virginia.  It’s crisp and flavorful — especially for an early “summer” apple.  GG’s are great for eating and cooking and we are always happy to serve them up in late August.

 
August 12:  A bit of stop and go!

This is an “off week” for us here at Autumn Hills. The start of the season is a little bit “stop and go.”  We have some fruit in August but not a steady flow of crops to harvest.  So.. this week is a bit of a reprise with some more Shiro and Methley plums, Silver Gem nectarines, plus a few early Jersey Mac apples and a “peach preview” of things to come.  If your share seems a bit short, we’ll make it up to you soon as our bounty increases.

 

August 5:  A Summer Medley

 Silver Gem is a variety of white nectarine  developed by pomologists at Rutgers University. We love its intense perfume and delicate flavor.  The skin imparts a wonderful red veining in the fruit making it very pretty in salads or sliced fresh.  These nectarines are small this year due to the drought conditions but they are tasty!  

Our blueberries are a mixture of varieties as we grow about 4 different variety bushes.  Blueberries are usually reserved for PYO customers, but we have an abundance this week so we picked some for our CSA customers as well.

Yellow Transparent apple is a Russian variety that was imported by USDA in the late 19th Century specifically for cultivation in the upper mid-west orchards of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Cold-hardy and early, the Yellow Transparent is a soft-fleshed apple, best for cooking and sauce — but we enjoy its tangy flavor in summer salads, too.  So different from the crisp fall apples we are used to in New  England, but we’ll take the YT as the first apple of summer!

We added a few apricots and some Japanese Methley plums.  We hope you enjoy our summer sampler!