First recorded in 1872, this variety originated on the Swazie farm near Niagara, New York. It was an apple more generally known in portions of Canada than in New York. This excellent dessert apple is small to medium in size. The trees are vigorous and upright growers, but tend not to be very productive. According to a description in the 1905 book The Apples of New York, Swayzie is “more highly aromatic and superior in quality” to Pomme Gris. U.P. Hedrick and G.H. Howe in a March, 1913, New York Agricultural Experiment Station handbook, concluded just the opposite, stating this variety is “similar to, but inferior to Pomme Gris.”
Ross Nonpareil (16th Century)
An excellent quality aromatic apple, with firm dry flesh and a distinct pear-drop flavor. Considered one of the highest flavored and most delicious apples by Downing. This old variety is believed to have found its way to England from France in the 16th century. While Ashmead’s Kernal is often sited as a descendant of Ross Nonpareil, it is our understanding that genetic testing has yet to confirm a relationship between these two storied apples. Ripens in late September.
Sansa (Japan - 1969)
This early-ripening apple with an attractive red-blush, is sweet with a nice level of acidity. Sansa is a 1969 cross between Akane x Gala, developed by the Morioka Research Station in Japan, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand. This variety is highly disease resistant, thus a good choice for a backyard gardener and ripens one week before Gala.
Eden Crab (California - 1940s)
This richly flavored crab apple is one of the more unique tasting apples in our collection. It was developed by California apple breeder Albert Etter and intended to be released to the public thru the California Nursery Category under the name Humboldt. Unfortunately, this failed to occurred. Green Mantle Nursery rediscovered this variety, gave it a new name and now offers scionwood and bench-grafts under trademarked restrictions.
Frostbite (University if Minnesota)
A small cold-hardy apple that is great for cider making and is said to be either loved or hated as an eating apple. Frostbite was developed over 100 years ago, but for much of its life lived in obscurity under the name MN447. The University of Minnesota was slow to release this apple, concerned that its unusual molasses-type flavor would not be well-received by the market. The apple has been an important part of the University of Minnesota breeding program, since the 1920’s. It is the parent of the Keepsake and Sweet 16 apples and the grandparent of Honeycrisp. We are big fans of Frostbite and use it in our own modest apple breeding trials.
Developed by the University of Minnesota and introduced commercially in 1946. A cross between Malinda x a Siberian crabapple, this bite size apple is sweet, acidic, slightly nutty with excellent overall flavor. As with other University of Minnesota releases Chestnut Crab is cold-hardy.
Hewes Virginia Crab (1700s)
Oone of the most highly coveted of the U.S. heirloom cider apples. Thomas Jefferson grew the Virginia Crab on his estate in Monticello. He once commented that crushing the juice of the Hewe’s Virginia Crab was like “squeezing a wet sponge”. In property advertisements in the “Virginia Gazette” between 1755 and 1777, the Hewes Crab appeared more often (13 times) than any other fruit variety, pointing to the importance of cider making in the South during the early days of our nation.
Epi Etoile (1600s Netherlands)
This late-season rare oblate apple resembles a five point star. Api Etoile has a nice level of acidity and sugar and makes for a fine eating apple. It keeps until late spring with flavor improving in storage
More varieties comming soon