Friday, October 11, 2013

MM111 apples (some pictures added)

Today was  a day with many pieces.

As noted in an earlier post, I red-tagged many trees in my Dad's orchard for removal or grafting over to more desirable varieties.  One of those trees is a rootstock, MM111 that was allowed to size up and fruit.

At one time in my career I worked in a manufacturing plant in Flint, Michigan.  The supervisor of "Final Processes" was an old Greek guy.  He once told me that there are two kinds of horses:  Show horses and work horses.  And since it was crystal clear that I would never be a show horse, I had damn well better be a hard worker.

MM111 is a work horse.

Dry soil-damp soil, fertile soil-infertile soil, sand-clay, windy site-sheltered site....MM111 is a rootstock that does not care.  It makes apples.  It makes many apples.  It makes good sized apples that ripen well.

I wanted to fruit out an MM111 because I was curious about the fruit quality.  MM111 is three-quarters Northern Spy, an apple that contributed genes to many fine dessert and baking apples.

Two banana boxes of MM111 fruit.  There are two pawpaws in the box on the right.


So how is the fruit?

Well, it would be OK if it were the ONLY apple you could fruit.  Otherwise, it is deeply flawed.

It sized up OK (average diameter of two and a half inches).  Good aromatics.  Very tart.  I cannot tell if that is due to very low sugar or whether it is just an apple with very high acidity.  The apple also appears to spoil very quickly.

Note added Oct 19:  Soluble solids (mostly sugar) measured at 16.6% in one study. So it is high acidity/high sugar.

So I picked two banana boxes of fruit this morning and will plant them into the great 2014 experimental seedling plot.  Potential pollen parents include Liberty, Prima, Malus robusta, Melrose and Jonafree.  The worst thing that can happen is that I end up with a couple hundred seedling rootstock to graft over.  The best thing that can happen is that I find the next great apple rootstock that produces good fruit even if the scion variety fails.

Tool sale

I stopped at a tool sale on the way out to Dad's orchard.  I did not buy anything.

They also had a large motor/welder/generator set.

Pawpaws

I went to a swim meet yesterday and sat beside two Montessori Kindergarten teachers.  "Why, yes, we would love to have some Pawpaws to share with our class."

A quick call to Roger Miller (517-663-8031) revealed that he still had over a hundred pounds still on his trees.  A quick trip out to his farm.  He declined payment (he is a very generous man).

The report I got back from the Montessori teachers is that all the kids were amazed and enchanted by the seeds (?!?), 80% of the kids loved the smell and 10% were dazzled by the taste.  They further reported that the soft texture and greenish-yellow skin color was a turn-off for most kids.  To the best of my knowledge they did not scientifically investigate the sound they make.  SPLAT!

Pizza

Belladonna and one of her guy buddies wanted to study math during lunch time.  She asked me to cater in pizza.  I did.

Mausers


I picked up a Mauser that had a rear aperture sight installed.  The open sight could not be lowered enough to fully clear the line of sight so I took it to Paul's Gun Shop to have the rear open sight removed.  For some reason the rear sight would not pop out after I removed the roll pin.  A range report will show up on this blog sometime in the near future.

Incidentally, there is a very fine gun store for sale in Charlotte, Michigan;  Paul's Gun Shop.  His inventory currently includes Brownings, Winchesters, Savages, Glocks, Springfields, Rugers and Colt 1911s.  He also has a goodly smattering of used firearms.  Call 517-543-3046 if you are interested.

Physical fitness


I picked up my gym buddy and we did our 40 minutes.  I ran the four mile in-town loop after dropping him off.

I dropped over two blocks to check on Urban Air.  I had been hearing rumors of wild sax in the streets and needed to check it out.



The rumors were correct


Kubota


I picked up Kubota after school and we took a quick trip to Laingsburg to pick up one of his buddies.  It sucks when friends move.  Kubota's friend will spend the weekend with us as long as both he and Kubota behave.

---Still having issues with Blogger uploading photos---

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