Fall is my favorite time of year with cool, crisp nights and warm, sunny, dry days. These conditions are not only pleasant and enjoyable for many outdoor activities, they are also ideal for apples to ripen.
Soon apple growers throughout the state will be harvesting several different apple varieties. Unlike the limited selection found on produce shelves most of the year, their offerings may include twenty or more different varieties, each with a little different flavor, texture , fruit color, and use. Take advantage of this selection and try some of the locally grown apples. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has prepared a brochure, Iowa Fall Produce Directory 1997, that contains information about 200 different producers in 69 counties. It includes the names, addresses, and hours of operation of producers that are selling apples, pumpkins, and winter squash. This directory is available by writing to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Wallace Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319.
Below is a list of the characteristics and uses of some apple varieties that can be found in Iowa orchards and markets this fall.
|Paulared||Late Aug.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Short||Fresh|
|Wealthy||Late Aug. - early Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Short||Cooking, fresh|
|Gala||Late Aug. - early Sept.||Crisp||Slightly sweetShort||Cooking||Orange/red; yellow flesh|
|McIntosh||Early to mid-Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Moderate||Cooking, fresh||Bright red|
|Jonadel||Mid - late Sept.||Tender||Slightly sweet||Good||Cooking, fresh ISU release in 1958; red fruit|
|Haralson||Mid - late Sept.||Crisp||Tart||Excellent||Cooking, fresh||White, firm flesh|
|Cortland||Mid - late Sept.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking, fresh||White flesh that is slow to darken when cut|
|Honeygold||Mid - late Sept.||Crisp||Slightly sweet||Good||Cooking, fresh|
|Jonafree||Mid - late Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking, fresh|
|Jonathan||Mid - late Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Moderate||Cooking, fresh|
|Jonagold||Late Sept -early Oct.||Tender||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking, fresh||Large yellow fruit with red striping|
|Chieftain||Late Sept. - early Oct.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking, fresh||ISU release in 1966; large red fruit|
|Spartan||Mid - late Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking, fresh|
|Liberty||Late Sept. - early Oct.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Good||Fresh||Greenish yellow with red stripes|
|Red Delicious||Late Sept. - early Oct.||Crisp||Sweet||Excellent||Cooking, fresh|
|Golden Delicious||Late Sept. - early Oct.||Tender||Sweet||Excellent||Cooking, fresh|
|Golden Grimes||Late Sept.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Excellent||Cooking, fresh|
|Rome Beauty||Late Sept.||Tender||Slightly tart||Good||Cooking|
|Mutsu||Mid - late Oct.||Crisp||Slightly tart||Excellent||Cooking, fresh||Yellow-green fruit|
This article originally appeared in the September 12, 1997 issue, pp. 138-139.