Heritage Apple Trees at Logan Square Farmer’s Market

March 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

Man, it’s getting hard to keep up with all the great eat local things happening around Chicagoland.  Most of it we get in the weekly Local Calendar, but there’s stuff just rushing in.  In addition, there’re times we want to give a little more notice to events from good causes.  So, we’ll be updating soon on events from Spence Farm, the Green City Market Junior Board and Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks, and more.  In the meantime, we want to get out something really cool happening this Sunday at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market.

The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) is offering a limited quantity of full-dwarfing, heritage apple trees. Three pre-1900 varieties are available, Blue Pearmain, Esopus Spitzenberg and Milwaukee–see below on details on these varieties.  Each is grafted onto full-dwarfing EMLA 27 (approximately 4’ – 6’) rootstock, perfect for urban growing in a limited space.  CROP notes that only a very limited quantity are available, so pre-ordering is necessary.  They ask that you come by the Logan Square Farmer’s Market this Sunday for more information and to place your order.  After this weekend, orders for remaining trees will be taken over email.

All trees cost $15.  These are fresh grafts and will take several years to mature and fruit.  Trees will be delivered in late spring.  Proceeds go to support CROP in its mission to start community, rare-fruit orchards in Chicago.

More information on the varieties:

Blue Pearmain – Origin: USA early 1800s Ripens: Oct/Nov Zone: 3 – 6
An old apple of uncertain origin, but probably American. It was noted by the Royal Horticultural Society of London in 1893 and widely grown in New York and New England in the 19th century. A large, slightly conical fruit with red and purplish-red striping and covered with a fine blue bloom. The delicate creamy-white flesh is tender, sweet and slightly aromatic.
(Maple Valley Orchards)

Esopus Spitzenberg – Origin: Esopus, NY in 1790 Ripens: Oct – Nov Zone: 4 – 8
Thomas Jeffersons favorite dessert apple; A medium to large; orangish apple with some russeting. The flesh is yellow with spicy, juicy favor. Very good keeper.
(Maple Valley Orchards)

Milwaukee -
This pippin apple was found under a Duchess tree and then developed by George Jeffrey of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. it appeared in commerce around 1899. Its tough but thin skin is greenish yellow and marbled, dotted or blotched with reds. its yellowish white flesh is tender and juicy, with a pleasant acid flavor good for most uses except as a fresh dessert apple.
(Noble Fruits, Slow Food USA)