White Winter Pearmain (White Pearmain)

A very fine apple first described in 1867. Widely sold throughout the South and prized for its fresh eating qualities. Fruit is medium to large with smooth, waxy, greenish-yellow skin. Flesh is white or yellowish, aromatic, tender, crisp, and fine-grained. Ripens September to October and is a fairly good keeper.

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Winesap

Originated in New Jersey around 1800 and has given rise to many other famous Southern apples including Kinnaird’s Choice, Stayman, and Arkansas Black. Grows well in nearly all soil types and noted for its excellent storage qualities. Fruit is medium-sized with dark yellow skin mostly covered with stripes of dark red. Yellow flesh is crisp, firm and very juicy. Wonderful flavor with a snap or “twang” that is characteristic of this famous apple. Ripens in October.

Winter Sweet

This attractive late fall apple comes from the collection of the late Henry Morton of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Fruit is medium to large, roundish to mostly oblate in shape. The thin, smooth, yellow skin is almost entirely covered with dark red shading with darker red striping. The yellowish-white flesh is very firm, crisp, juicy and very sweet. Ripens in October and is a good keeper.

Starkey

Fall-Early Winter. Seedling of Ribston Pippin. Vassalboro, ME, 1820. A superb fresh eating apple that originated on the farm of Moses Starkey, a Quaker minister in North Vassalboro. Well known around Augusta in the 19th century, but never got much notice outside the immediate area. Its medium-sized roundish fruit is rosy red, covered almost completely with fine lines, shades and stripes of darker reds and sprinkled with pronounced white dots. The fruit is excellent fresh eating, the perfect combination of crisp sweetness and tartness. Best eating about Christmas. Moderately bearing tough medium-large tree.

Sweet Sal

Summer-Fall-Winter. Seedling of Northern Spy. Winthrop, ME(Kennebec County). Maine orchardist Morris Towle (1911-1993) named this discovery for his daughter. We’re fairly sure that only one mature tree remains alive today. The medium-sized roundish fruit is dull yellow, washed with vibrant purple-pink, overlaid with stripes of deep rusty red and covered with pink dots. The flesh has no acidity, perfect for those who do not like or cannot eat tart apples. No acidity also means Sweet Sal can be harvested over a long period, because there’s no waiting for the tartness to abate. Can be eaten from August to March although at its best in October. Like its parent Northern Spy, it comes into bearing later than most varieties and keeps extremely well. In fact, I’ve been surprised at what a good storage apple it is. Tree is vigorous and upright growing.

Brock

(Golden Delicious x McIntosh). Monmouth, ME, 1966. Bred in 1933 by the late Russ Bailey of the University of Maine and named for Henry Brock, the Alfred, ME orchardist who first popularized it. The very large conic fruit is yellow and mostly covered with a deep rusty red blush. The white to cream-colored fine-grained flesh is aromatic, sweet and crisp, the perfect combination of its two parents. Outstanding fresh eating and small core makes it excellent for pies and sauce. Fruits over a long period. Tree is vigorous and develops strong wide-angled branches, highly desireable for carrying fruit. Keeps till mid-winter.

Gray Permain

Probably Skowhegan, ME, before 1880. Absolutely delicious dessert apple with a distinct pear flavor and firm white juicy mildly tart flesh. Medium-sized obscurely ribbed and muffin-shaped fruit has a soft opaque greenish-yellow skin with a rosy pink blush, a russet veil, and a greyish bloom. Pick them late—even after the Spies. Eat them in the fall, winter or spring. Produces excellent juice. Keeps extremely well. The most unusual variety Steve and Marilyn Meyerhans grow at The Apple Farm in Fairfield, ME. Mentioned as being grown by CA Marston of Skowhegan, in the 1885 Maine Agricultural Yearbook. There were five or six of the trees in the orchard when Steve and Marilyn purchased it over 30 years ago from Royal Wentworth. Those trees were already old. Unfortunately they never thought to ask the soft-spoken Wentworth about the apple. Its true origin may remain forever a mystery. Annually bearing manageable easy-to-grow medium-sized spreading tree. Blooms midseason.

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