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Basketmaking Workshop

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Mercer X Duchess of Oldenburg : selected 1918, introduced 1920. Anoka is a large apple with yellow skin striped and patched with red. A good apple for pies and sauce. Pick early for firmer piemaking. Only good fresh eating if eaten soon after picking. Has a mild subacid flavor. Flesh is white with a tinge of green, and is moderately dry. More for culinary uses. Flesh oxidizes (browns) readily. Average fruit weight is 100-150 gms. Slight bloom to the skin. Tree bears very young, being called “the old man’s apple” since he may likely see its fruit before his demise. Productive cropper, generally with two harvest periods. Somewhat small in stature, like most early bearers, managing about 15 to 20 feet tall. Claimed to have moderate resistance to fireblight, but there are conflicting reports. Ripens in summer, usually early Sept. here. cold hardy into zone 3. Moderate tree vigor. Possibly for hard cider.

Known by some as the old man’s apple, due to its precocity. It may produce fruit for before one’s demise. It does hold true, it is a tree that bears early in life. Good crops of fruit. Apples are of average quality, rather mild, but tasty. Here, they remain golden, sometimes with a bit of blush, before they need to be picked. Ready in late summer. Good cold hardiness. Tree can be kept small if needed.

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Walden Heights in the News


New England Gardens Article 

Branching Out Article – Acres USA

Hunt for Cold Hardy Pears – Good Fruit Grower Magazine

Radio interview with Walden Height’s Todd Parlo

Apple Pie in Local Banquet

It’s Apple Season – Dig In Vermont

Finding a New Orchard Crop – Growing Magazine

Pasture your Bedtime in Cabot, Vt

Apple’s Second Golden Age

These Apples Are Not All Alike – Northstaraug07-north-star

Local Banquet meets Todd and Lori


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History : A Malinda cross, the pollen parent formerly thought to be Ben Davis, but DNA testing has shown that Wealthy is the likely pollen parent developed at the University of Minnesota. Selected in 1913 and released in 1923. Originally Minn.90 (test name). It is named after Charles Haralson, superintendent of the University of Minnesota Fruit Breeding Farm.

Fruit Uses : This is a cultivar that comes highly recommended, especially for the homestead. It is all purpose, an excellent fresh eating apple and a first rate culinary fruit. Firm and crisp when fresh, with a near perfect sweet-tart balance which is far more fully flavored and assertive than modern commercial varieties. In pies and tarts the slices keep their shape and flavor. It is also among the best as a storage apple, keeping 4-6 months in proper conditions (high humidity/ 33 degrees). Keep for months in the fridge while maintaining flavor. Dried fruit is quite strong, but delicious. For sauces, it does better with the addition of a more collapsing variety mixed in (ie mac family selections are a good bet). Excellent for single variety or mixed cider. For hard ciders a higher sugar cultivar mixed in or an additional sugar source is recommended in years when brix is below 12.

Tree : It is moderately vigorous. Blooms are white. Flowering period is mid (about even with Golden Delicious), in Walden about May 18th. Fruit hangs past maturity to a fair level. Standard form and spurring. Not a tip bearer. Tree can set a very heavy crop, needing some thinning, which can help to reduce the incidence of biennial bearing which it is moderately prone to do. We have managed here to keep it in annual bearing with early and heavy thinning. Haralson makes a strong healthy and well formed tree with decent crotch angles, but benefits from some light training. Has a strong central leader tendency. Grows to a moderate size in average soil conditions. They are model trees in form with good management. Very cold hardy, to -50F reportedly. Somewhat precocious in bearing.

Fruit : Partially red stripes and splashes, may become fully red , over a greenish yellow base. Average weight is 400g, 62 x 77mm in size. Rounded conical in shape. With good thinning the fruits can get quite large. Skin is medium toughness. No bloom. About 10% of the skin surface is finely russeted and non- localized. Russet netting sometimes appears. Flesh is cream to yellowish, moderately crisp to firm, and aromatic. A good sweet to tart balance. Average sugar level at Walden Heights has averaged 12.5 % with some fruits nearing 14 in optimal years, or with afterripening. Flesh oxidizes (browns) at a moderate rate when ruptured. Ripens at Walden Heights late September to early October. (Latitude: 44-27’08” N Longitude: 072-15’25” W, 1700ft elevation, zone 3)

Additional physical attributes: Fruit stem length 22mm. Persistent calyx on fruit. Acute shallow fruit basin. Globuse to conical shape. Acute deep stem cavity. Tree form standard/standard. Moderately resistance to fireblight reported. Moderate resistance to cedar apple rust. Susceptible to apple scab fungus.

image and some details courtesy of national germplasm repository records