October 19, 2017

Apple Harvest

“Give me spots on my apples.
But leave me the birds and the bees.

- Joni Mitchell

One of the joys of the fall season is harvesting apples. There is nothing quite as invigorating as being out in the crisp, fresh air on a sunny fall day picking organic apples. Free organic apples.

A year ago I discovered an apple tree on the land surrounding my home in rural Nova Scotia. I have been looking forward to this moment since the end of my first harvest. On that harvest I picked a few months worth of apples, an amount that I equalled again this year.

While the two apples pictured above represented the most perfect specimens of the whole lot, most had blemishes of the type you never see in stores. 

The reason store bought apples are so perfect is because they are one of the most sprayed foods in the produce section. Nature is messy, and it takes a lot of poison to clean things up. Those toxic chemicals are not good for people or other living things, like pollinators, so I prefer cleaner, more interesting apples of the organic variety. 

The tree where I gather my apples is an ecosystem to itself. These are not for the exclusive use of human beings, so the fruit is enjoyed by many species. From deer to worms to fungal diseases to birds, many living things live and dine here.

This is no for-profit industrial chemical wasteland. This wild tree is free to feed all that come to it in search of sustenance. Come winter, this apple harvest will be sustaining me.

It doesn't get any fresher than this.


  1. Anonymous10/20/2017

    Sad news regarding the insect population in Germany from The Guardian:
    George Monitor has also writer a n article about it:
    We have to wake up at some point surely.

    1. Alex,

      I have been reading all over the internet about information coming out concerning the state of insect life. It is unsurprising, yet still shocking to hear. There are things we can do to help insect life, like not driving. Also, most mainstream gardening techniques are harmful to insects. Nature is messy, and our yards and gardens should be too.

  2. When I was a child there were apple and pear trees in the neighborhood as well as grape vines. Out playing on the hillside we were free to pick and eat that wonderful fruit. No worry about chemicals it was all organic before there was such a term for chemical free fruit. If this all changed in my lifetime, why can't it reverse? Now before it's too late.

    1. Marla,

      That sounds so nice. When my family lived in Eugene, Oregon when I was a kid we had a pear tree in our backyard. To us northerners it seemed like paradisiacal luxury.

      I think a reverse is doable, and likely, if we are to save ourselves... and insects, and every other living thing on Earth.

  3. Anonymous10/23/2017

    Oh, your pictures made me so happy! Thank you! -Erin

  4. Namakemono10/26/2017

    I grew up in a house with half a dozen established apple trees in the garden that produced more than we could eat. I looked up that house on google earth a while back and was sad to see the area of the garden with the apples trees was a bare paved yard. In the house we lived in before that my parents put in a huge vegetable garden - that is now lawn. People's priorities carts inky have changed!

  5. Namakemono11/08/2017

    And spell check doesn't like me - the last sentence should read "certainly have changed". Sorry I didn't pick it up when I wrote if.


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