It’s peak apple picking season in northern Virginia. I was thinking about posting tips for apple picking but found that there are already some excellent posts out there… my favorite is 10 Tips for Organizing an Apple Picking Outing with Kids. One of the tips is to plan to get lots of apples and to plan what you’ll do with them. So, to help with those planning efforts, here is a list of apples ripe in northern Virginia in mid-September. We’ve added photos, descriptions of their qualities and tasting notes. Now you’re ready to pick lots of apples!
At Great Country Farms, all of our apple trees have been planted in the last 20 years so we are considered a “modern orchard” with dwarf trees designed for easy pick your own. No ladders required! Our varieties are names that you may not recognize but they have been derived from some of the best classic apples. Take a wander through our varieties below and decide which options are best for you and your family.
Candy Crisp® -Coming in Mid September
- Description: This glossy yellow beauty is shaped like a Red Delicious apple with the top wider than the bottom and knobs on its flooring.
- Parentage: This tree was discovered as a chance seedling growing in a Red Delicious orchard in New York. Hence, Candy Crisp is thought to be related to and has a similar shape to Red Delicious but the skin color is golden yellow.
- Tasting Notes: Firm, juicy and sweet with a somewhat pear-like flavor.
- Uses: Sweeter apple great for eating & dessert baking. Keeps well for 1-2 months refrigerated.
Jonafree-Ripe Early September
- Description: deep red with creamy, white flesh and crisp, juicy eating quality similar to old-fashioned Jonathan, with 100% Jonathan flavor.
- Parentage:Introduced in 1965 this apple was developed as a Purdue Rutger Illinois Coop from Golden Delicious, Jonathan and Rome Beauty PRI 855-102 x NJ 31
- Tasting Notes: Flavor is Jonathan-like, but less acidic.
- Use: Great for Eating and holds up nicely for baking. Great lunch box size apples.
Jonagold – Ripe in Early September
- Description: this lovely red apple often shows golden striations.
- Parentage:Golden Delicious and Jonathan
- Tasting Notes: The Jonagold apple has a balanced blend of both its parents’ flavors offering the sweet-tart taste found in the Jonathan and the aromatic honey-like scent of the Golden Delicious.
- Use: A great choice for cider, juicing and cooking. This apple stores well for 1-2 months refrigerated.
Ruby John – Coming in Mid-September
- Description: This more petite apples is deep red with creamy, white flesh and crisp, juicy eating quality similar to old-fashioned Jonathan, with 100% Jonathan flavor.
- Parentage:Sport (natural mutation) of Jonathan
- Tasting Notes: Biting in reveals, well, a Jonathan which is an old classic, sweet and balanced and cidery, with flashes of spice.
- Use: This smaller apples is great for lunches and snacks.
Shizuka – Coming late September
- Description: This tall, large, yellow-hued apple that is mostly yellow with some green or red flush.
- Parentage:Golden Delicious cross with Indo (Same parents as the Mutsu Apple)
- Tasting Notes: This descendant of the golden has an almost buttery flavor that is mostly sweet with a hint of tart.
- Uses: Eating, apple sauce and great for making dried apple rings.
Now that you know all about the apples ready to pick this season, here are some great links to Savor Apple Recipes and 15 Things to Do with all the apples you pick this fall. Enjoy!