|Apple Journal Photo Gallery - The Smokehouse|
Finally, I discovered Siloam Orchards, just north of Toronto, near Uxbridge. They have scores of heritage and rare apples and other fruit trees available, and available as "whips", which means 1 year old, non-branched trees, which are the perfect starting material for my project. A quick perusal of their listings reveals that they have beautiful red-fleshed apples, reinettes and pippins. There are ones which taste like pineapples or are reminiscent of bananas, coddlings, russets of all sorts, and dozens of varieties that were popular at the time of Queen Victoria, and with names to match (the Blenheim Orange, the Smokehouse, or the Knobbed Russet). After realizing that it's almost May 1st, and that my initial and critical first pruning steps should take place before the buds burst, I made a hasty call and discussed my plans with the kindly folks at Siloam, who have promised to set aside 5 or 6 recommended varieties for me to choose from. I'm heading up there today, and we're promised sunshine and 15 degree temperatures, so it should be a pleasant drive. I may do a bit of sightseeing on the way, never having been to Uxbridge, and I've scoped out a couple of restaurants for lunch, so it may turn into a very pleasant day in the country, to kick-off what will undoubtedly be a longer term garden project. Wish me luck!