Heirloom Fruit

Most of the apples and pears that we grow are considered heirloom, or antique, fruit. These varieties have existed for hundreds of years and have a distinctive look and flavor not found in the fruit generally available in stores. Most heirloom fruit are not bred for durability and appearance, but are bred for flavor. You will not find many of our apples in a store because they have more fragile skin and flesh and thus cannot be stored for long periods. Heirloom apples are best when picked ripe and used fresh, rather than being picked before they are fully ripe, shipped, and held in storage.

Our customers are able to appreciate the subtle and distinctive taste heirloom apples offer. Great-tasting apples have a balance of sweetness and tartness and a distinct aroma. We offer you - pick fruit as well as pre-picked fruit. This allows you to have the freshest, best ripened fruit possible.

 

 

 

Apple Varieties

Apples are listed in the order in which they ripen.

+Wealthy: a favorite heirloom apple that can be used for eating or cooking, Wealthy has crisp, juicy white flesh with some pink veining. Produces a pale pink applesauce that is tart and delicious. Also good for drying and cider. Introduced in Minnesota in the 1860s, it was one of the first apples grown commercially and was one of the top five apples grown in the U.S. by the early 1900s.

+Summer Rambo: discovered in France prior to 1535, this has been popular in the U.S. since colonial times. It is a large apple with a very crisp, yellow-green flesh that is quite tart. It makes great pie, applesauce and apple butter and may also be eaten.

Jonamac: a cross between Jonathan and Macintosh, Jonamac is sweet-tart and is best for eating, pairing well with peanut butter, caramel or cheddar cheese. It does not hold its shape in a pie or crisp, although it can be successfully combined with other varieties. Makes a good sauce.

Gala: crisp and sweet, Galas do not brown easily and thus are good for use in salads, salsa and chutneys, as well as for eating. Use with tarter apples in pies to add desired sweetness. First developed in New Zealand in 1934, its parents are Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red. It is one of the most popular apples in the world.

*Honeycrisp: first developed in the 1960s in Minnesota, it is noted for its sweet-tart flavor and crisp texture. Honeycrisp is prized for eating, but also makes excellent pies and crisps, sauce and butter. It does well sliced and added to sandwiches and burgers or chopped and added to green or fruit salads.

+Jonathan: parent to Jonamac, Jonared and Jonagold, a child of Esopus Spitzenburg, it was first discovered in Woodstock, NY in 1826. It was one of the most important apples produced commercially in the 1800s. Very juicy and makes good juice or cider. Its sweet-tart flavor and moisture make it a good apple to use in cakes, pies, crisps and bread puddings, as well as for sauce and butter. It stores for a few months.

Empire: crisp and juicy with the sweet and tart flavors of its parents, Red Delicious and Macintosh. Empire is a member of the rose family, as are pears and quince. Keeps well. Excellent for eating, but also can be used for pies and other baking as well as for sauce and apple butter.

+*Cox’s Orange Pippin: a classic English apple, it was discovered in 19th century England. Does well in cider, pies, butter and sauce, as well as for eating fresh. Red spread over underlying yellow gives the apple an orangish color. A grandparent of Gala, it is very juicy. Good for eating, baking, sauce and butter, as well as in hard cider.

+Cortland: developed in 1898 at Cornell University in New York, Cortland is still the twelfth most commonly-produced apple in the U.S. Juicy with a sweet-tart flavor, it is very slow to brown once cut and thus does well in salads, sandwiches and served with cheeses. Good for baking and in sauce and butter, as well as for cider and juice. Does not store well, so should be used shortly after it is picked.

Jonagold: a cross of Jonathan and Golden Delicious, Jonagold is good for all uses: baking, drying, cider, sauce and butter, cut and served with cheese, in sandwiches, and especially eating fresh. Extremely successful in Western Europe: it makes up about 70% of the apples grown in Belgium, one of Europe’s leading producers of apples.

+Red Delicious: another heirloom (1881) whose reputation has been hurt by growers' practice of picking when it looks ripe because it ships better when it is harder. Sweet, crisp and juicy when allowed to ripen on the tree, a good addition to sauce,  pies and soups as well as for eating. One of the most commercially successful apples of the 20th century.

+Golden Delicious: an heirloom apple from 1890, this is not your Golden from the grocery store. Allowed to ripen on the tree, it is sweet, crisp and juicy. It's good for eating, in cider and holds up well in pie. It adds sweetness to replace or reduce the use sugar in pie, crisp or applesauce. Not related to Red Delicious, despite the similarity in name.

+*Grimes Golden: discovered in 1804 in Virginia, this heirloom is juicy and lightly spiced. It is an excellent eating apple, but can also be used for baking, sauce, butter, cider and preserves. It is the parent of the Golden Delicious apple, and was once very popular, but it’s not suited for wide distribution, as it can bruise.

Crispin: developed in Japan in the 1930s, this is also known as Mutsu. Sweet-tart with honey undertones, it is good for both eating and baking, as well as for sauce and butter.

+Northern Spy: very popular in the 1800s, Northern Spy is one of the best apples for pies, but it is equally good for other baking, sauce, butter, chutneys, salads and especially for eating. It is prized for cider making. Unfortunately, it does not keep well, so should be used within a month after picking.

+*King David: discovered in 1893 in Arkansas, King David is a cross between Jonathan and either Esopus Spitzenburg or Winesap.  Crisp and juicy, it is a wonderful eating apple, and also does well in baking, sauce, butter, salads, roasting, and other applications. Keeps well for two or three months.

+Esopus Spitzenburg: discovered in New York in the early 1700s, this is a rich, sweet apple with hints of spice. It can be used for anything from baking to cider, but it is such a delicious eating apple that it seems a waste to use it for any other purpose. It was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple; he planted 32 of these trees in the orchard at Monticello.

*Albemarle Pippin: another heirloom from New York in the early 1700s, this is a squat, dull apple that is delicious eaten fresh and can also be used for baking and sauce. It is also known as Newtown Pippin or Yellow Newtown. This apple keeps well for a few months.

+*Myers Royal Limbertwig: dating from the late 1800s to early 1900s, this is a juicy, firm, aromatic apple that is considered one of the best for making cider. It has a rich flavor that makes it also desirable for eating and other uses.

Fuji: developed in Japan in 1939, it is wonderful eaten fresh and makes an amazing dried apple. It is quite sweet and juicy with Asian tropical flavors. It keeps well, and can also be used in baking to add sweetness to pies or applesauce so that you need not add sugar.

+Winesap: crisp,juicy, sweet-tart apple with a spicy wine-like flavor. It most likely dates back to the 18th century, although its parents are unknow. It is the parent of a number of varieties, including Arkansas Black and Stayman Winesap. It is prized for use in pies and cider, but can also be eaten. Unlike most apples, its blossoms are pink, not white. It stores well for several months.

+Stayman Winesap: similar to Winesap, but slightly sweeter. Its parents are Winesap and Stayman apples.

+Roxbury Russet: the oldest known variety native to North America, its roots can be traced to Massachusetts prior to 1635. Although not very attractive due to russetting, it has a sweet taste and does well in cider, baking and for fresh eating.

+*York Imperial: originated near York, Pennsylvania in 1830, York Imperial is lopsided and can appear orangish-red. Stores very well and is good for both eating and cooking. Crisp, juicy, sweet-tart.

+Arkansas Black: an heirloom apple from 1850, it ranges from a russetted dark red to a blackish burgundy in color, with white flesh that turns a creamy yellow-orange in storage. According to Apples of Uncommon Character author Rowan Jacobsen, this is an apple that is picked in October, but best eaten in December to April, as it gets tender and juicy after it is stored for a while. It is excellent for all culinary uses at any time in the fall and winter, and is one of the best apples for storing as it will keep until early spring.

+Rome Beauty: developed in Ohio in 1817, a gorgeous apple that will keep until late winter or early spring. Considered one of the best baking, roasting, and frying apples available, it is a fabulous addition to any pie or crisp, bread, cookies and other uses.

 

+ Heirloom variety

*Limited quantities are available, often are picked clean in a few hours.

Please note: Apples should be stored at 40 – 44 degrees.

Pear Varieties

Bartlett: Long considered one of the choicest canning varieties, Bartlett accounts for approximately 75% of the pear production in the United States and Canada. A favorite for all uses. Ripens in late August.

Buerre Bosc: A large russetted pear with a distinctive long-necked shape, white flesh and a rich, delicious flavor. Good for eating and cooking. Ripens late August to mid-September.

Seckel: A small pear with rich yellowish-brown skin when fully ripe. One of the best quality dessert pears with a spicy, very sweet flavor. Ripens in early- to mid-September.

Anjou: The fruit is light green with a fine texture. The flesh is mild and aromatic. This is the best late-fall pear. Used for eating, canning and preserves, this will keep in cold storage until spring.

Lincoln: Big, red-blushed golden pear that is delicious for eating, cooking and canning. Ripens in late summer.

Comice: Known as the sweetest pear variety, these have been described as mellow and earthy in flavor. Available in September, they are aromatic and succulent. They are round with short necks, thick stems and a soft flesh.

Cherries and Blueberries

Recent studies have outlined the nutritional benefits of cherries and blueberries. They are both known as “super foods,” especially tart cherries, which have a lot of antioxidants, including anthocyanins. These fight free radicals and offer anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits; they may also contain anti-cancer benefits. They have been shown to particularly help those with inflammation from osteoarthritis. They also contain significant amounts of melatonin, thus possibly aiding sleep.