I've already written about the perfect homestead vegetable crop; it's high time I write about what I believe is the perfect fruit crop, too. There are lots of easy to grow fruits out there, and all of them have their importance for urban and rural homesteaders, but as far as I'm concerned, there's a hands-down winner every homestead should have: Apples.
I can't take credit for being the first to think apples are a must-have. If you've ever explored old homesteads, you know you can almost always find apple trees on them. This is, in part, because apple trees are hardier than most other fruit trees, tending to live longer, even with neglect. But it's also because apple trees were considered the fruit tree every family should have. Why is this? Let me count the ways:
* Apple trees are reliable and prolific. Many farmers and homesteaders will tell you fruit trees have a tendency to produce bi-annually, meaning one year you may get little to no crop, and the following year the harvest is abundant. Yet in my experience (both as a suburban homesteader foraging for apples in public areas and as a rural homesteader with an orchard) apples rarely have a bad year. And did you know that a
a single apple tree can provide 130 lbs. or more of food each year? Holy smokes! I'm so thankful for their heartiness and abundance.
* Apples are filling. In my opinion, apples are more filling than any other fruit (probably because of their water and fiber content). When times are hard, you can count on apples to fill bellies. It's the reason Johnny Appleseed gifted pioneers with apple seeds!
|These beauties from our orchard are a meal unto themselves!|
|Immature apples on our homestead.|
* Apples are versatile. Eat them by themselves, make them into a dessert, turn them into a savory dish, squish them to make something to drink, and use the scraps to make vinegar!
|Homemade applesauce is healthy and delish.|
So if I had to choose just one type of fruit to grow on our homestead, it would, without a doubt, be apples.
More Posts about Apples:
What to do with Crab Apples
Apple Peel and Core Jelly
Picking Unripe Apples for Making Apple Pectin
Apple Skillet Cake Recipe
Apple Spice Bread Recipe
Apple Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars Recipe
Old Fashioned Baked Apples Recipe
Canning Apple Pie Jam
Freezing Apple Pie Filling
The Best Tasting, Easiest Applesauce Ever
How to Make Apple Cider with an Electric Juicer
Making Dried Apple Rings in the Warmer Drawer
Wax Costing on (Store Bought) Apples: Is it Safe?