After many hours of thought we have decided to take the direction of the farm to be an heirloom apple orchard. We like to just take off for parts unknown on a moments notice so having animials was not going to work for us anyway. I have always had a passion for trees and heirloom apple trees are my newest passion. Last March my wife and I took a course on how to graft apple trees at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah Iowa and ever since I have become addicted.
Finding out about my brother’s Hawkeye apple tree has pushed me in that direction and now I am on the lookout for other old trees where I can take cuttings from while the tree is dormant and graft them on to other apple rootstock this coming spring. That way I am sure to get the exactly the same tasting apple. If you grow a tree from seed you won’t get the exact same tasting apple. The seeds are like offspring of the tree and are the result of the tree that produced the apple and the tree that pollinated the flowers in the spring.
The varieties I now have are Hawkeye, Niki Sweet, Grimes Golden, Duchess of Oldenberg, Wolf River, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Liberty, Pristine, Arkansas Black, Honey Crisp, Empire, Candy Crunch, and several unknown varieties. I am always on the lookout for new varieties, so if you know of any very old or wild apple trees please let me know.
At this time, collecting apple trees is just a hobby and not sure if I will start selling trees or have a pick your own orchard in the future.