For the benefit of visitors to California Rare Fruit Growers northern circuit of Scion Exchanges, below is a complete tabluation of taster rankings from our October 2019 apple tasting in Santa Cruz, California, an event held now for over 30 years annually. Many (but not all) of the apples below will be available as scionwood at our local Monterey Bay scion exchange, and distributed to others run by northern California chapters of CRFG. These include heirloom, modern, and novel locally-discoved and bred apples.Continue reading “Santa Cruz Apple Tasting 2019 Rankings (77 Varieties)”
For over 30 years, each autumn the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers has held a public apple tasting in Santa Cruz, California that is likely one of the world’s most extensive.
This tasting honors the heritage of our region’s once prominent history in apple orcharding, as well as the amazing biodiversity and range of shapes, colors, textures, and flavors in the world’s favorite temperate fruit crop.
Our tasting features a wide range of apples, all locally-grown by our members, from centuries-old heirlooms to completely novel, locally-bred varieties (including a special section of redfleshed apples that have captured local imagination for quite some time).
I filmed a video, below, at our 2018 tasting, featuring some tasters’ perspectives on a dazzling array of fruits quite unlike what’s available at your average supermarket. Our 2018 tasted featured 77 varieties, each of them ranked and depicted in this prior post.
A number of the apples sampled at our 77 variety apple tasting in 2018 would be unfamiliar even to knowledgeable apple growers. These are local discoveries and novel varieties from nearby breeding projects, many of which exist only as a single tree each. All of these apples have distinguished themselves in one way or another over their years of existence, enough so to earn a place at our tasting tables, where several of them have performed quite well among the stiff competition. Freddy Menge, grower of a preponderance of the apples at our tasting, has offered some comments on these novel apples which I thought were worthy of pulling aside and illustrating on their own. —Andy Moskowitz
Rankings and images of all 77 varieties from the 2018 Monterey Bay CRFG Apple Tasting at conclusion.
The taste for apples is strong: this annual apple tasting, our thirty-somethingth, was one of our best-attended to date, with around 500 tasters. Look for scionwood of many of these heirloom and novel varieties at our upcoming scion exchange. Update: Read some additional notes on the novel, locally bred varieties sampled at this tasting. Update 2: See the video filmed at our 2018 tasting.
Story by Freddy Menge, Photos by Andy Moskowitz.
The Monterey Bay Chapter of the CRFG couldn’t ask for a better climate for growing apples. Thanks to our cool, coastal summers and extra-long growing-season, in the right micro-climate we can produce just about any apple variety worth cultivating. Our annual, late fall apple tasting at Santa Cruz’s Wilder Ranch has proven to be a perfect match of timing and location. Continue reading “Tasting 77 California-Grown Apple Varieties”
On December 1, we held our annual Holiday Potluck at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange, one of our most important community-focused events for the membership of the Monterey Bay Chapter of California Rare Fruit Growers. At this event we meet new and old friends to discuss our year in fruit gardening, share ripe harvests and delicious home cooking, and peer forward to our group’s year to come.
This year’s potluck drew an interesting and illuminating array of winter’s-eve fruit harvests from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, where some microclimates have already seen their first light frosts. The images below depict a nice cross-section of what’s ripe right now, though not an exhaustive list. Please do feel free to comment below with any notable omissions of fruits you’re picking this time of year (fall-winter cusp) from your Monterey Bay garden.