Sunday, May 23

Story of an Apple: Mother

I would like to tell the story of an apple, lovingly named the Mother, in honor of my own mother who was born 63 years ago on this day.  My mom started picking apples near my home town while I was still in grade school.  In many ways she probably inspired my own exploration into apple harvesting and for several years we picked apples on the same crew.  Over the past 15 years or so she has been a picker at three different orchards around Gays Mills and although she no longer straps an apple bag on her shoulders, she can still be found among the trees in the fall as an employee of Sunrise Orchards.  I am thankful for all that she has taught me over the years.  Happy Birthday Mom!


This small to medium sized apple also known as American Mother originated in the mid 19th century in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  The apple, prized as a good eating apple when fresh, but not a good keeper, found popularity during the 1920s and 1930s.  It can be found in many old orchards dating back to those times, but has more recently also been grown by hobby growers.
The fruit has been described as having an almost "balsamatic aroma" or even a suggestion of vanilla.  The Mother tree blooms late in the spring and is usually ripe by mid-September, although the they often require extensive thinning in order to bare fruit of significant size as well as to avoid biennial baring.  The mother is also valued for it's resistance to both scab and mildew, which can plague many varieties.  


1 comment:

  1. Hello, thank you for this information on the "American Mother" apple. I just saw one mentioned on a blog from England and decided to google and see what I could find out. The English blogger had visited an old house somewhere near London where an apple festival was in progress and one could buy apples from the trees grown in the garden there, one of which was an "American Mother." So, this American mother has learned something new, because I never heard of this apple before. Thanks again!