Monday, August 16, 2010
Harvest Monday -
Putting the worm back in the apple
Really Eve? I can only presume that the garden of Eden had not the pests of modern apples. These fruit don't scream out 'Tempting!' Plums plucked before brown rot took over, and windfall apples.
Organic gardening has improved the health of our water, soil and air. Limiting death-icides and encouraging diversity has allowed the ecosystem to regain its natural balance. It means that you can plunge your fingers into the wormy, gruby, fungal filled soil without concern for toxic residue though perhaps you might grab something squishy. It also means that very probably your apples don't resemble those you see in the grocery store.
Geneva crab apple cut in half - a good deal more tempting looking.
Apples are beloved fruit by not only ourselves but by a host of other organisms - get it, host! Anyhow, many a wormy, mishapen apple falls from my two completely unsprayed trees. One is a traditional Macintosh that I bought before I knew about disease resistant varieties and the other is a Liberty. Both get coddling moth. I don't worry overly about this because I have other things on my mind but when harvest comes around I pick half from the ground and the other half tenaciously clinging still to the tree. All have cores bored brown by a light pink grub. Isn't it cute?
The rosebud pink larva of a coddling moth coaxed out of its apple core home.
The explosion in the earwig population this year meant that many of my windfalls no longer contained their wormy resident but did have several spike tailed substitutes. Had the coddling moths already crawled off or were they consumed?
"Windfall: A sudden, unexpected piece of good fortune or personal gain"
When given wormy apples, there is only one thing to do: make sauce (or fruit leather or cider). The plums which made it past June drop (courtesy of plum curculio) and not yet hit by brown rot (new this year!), were added with the bits of apple that were unblemished.
"What do you think sis? Is it edible?" Plum-apple pops and yes, they were yummy!
Disease resistant apple varities
Organic Control of Coddling Moth by Green Harvest
Info on Coddling Moth by City Fruit