eliminating poor apple varieties
Its too bad one has to wait so long to try an apple variety to see if you like it or not. When I started my orchard 6 years ago I went by suggestions and was able to taste test a few at the nursery. But the majority of them I hadn't tasted. This is my first epic year harvesting all the varieties in my orchard and I'm ready to eliminate a few that have really disappointed me.
Red Rebel is very bland and tasteless.
Yates never developed and good flavor and didn't improve in storage either.
Carolina Red June is good but it has a very short window of opportunity...wait too long and its terribly mealy.
Virginia Gold came highly recommended but is just so so to me.
Bevan's Favorite is a very pretty apple but dry and bland.
Old Fashioned Winesap ripens so late that by November there's nothing left for the critters to mess with making it an easy target.
I also wonder if different soil conditions affect the flavor.
The ones I've really enjoyed, though, are Liberty, Aunt Rachel, Grime's Golden, Hewe's Crab, Goldrush, Smokehouse, Blue Ridge King and Blacktwig.
I'll be tearing out some 6 year old trees this November and replacing them with these.
Just my observations :)