Re: Non Bee Related Topics..... Organic apples?
Agreed on the untreated apples not being picture perfect. We always had apples and pears coming up and the apples would be stained and discolored and sometimes mishapen but for jelly and apple butter they were just fine. The pears came through woth flying colors but we only grew the old standby blight resistant hard pears (kieffer, sand, pineapple and various volunteers). Fire blight will eventually even get those here in the south but the trees will live a tough and hardy long life before age weakens them to the blight. Dad loves the soft pears and always had a bartlett or moonglow in some stage of dying from the blight. Those were good for a handful each year so dad could have a few for eating. We did almost everything with hard pears (canned, preserves, pickled, honey, relish you name it). Plums did fine but were short lived expect a decade maybe out of them. Never had cherries. Peaches for some reason seem to need alot more babying than I remember as a kid. Back then everyone had a peach tree or two in the yard and other than whitewashing the trunk nothing was done and barring a late freeze you got a fair to middling crop each year. The best of them was the old blood peach (red) that was only fit for pickling and next was the old white peach (type unknown). All those old trees are gone and to grow one today you have to set a schedule of spraying or else. Figs need no treatment whatsoever other than protecting them from freezes when young, no late pruning and keeping the mockingbirds from eating all your figs.
Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc