5/29/2020: Squint hard at this picture and you'll see that little bulge at the top of the little stem which has just dropped all its flower petals. That's an apple!  Squint over to the right to see a few sub-stages of pollination & petal-fall in the same pic. Now mentally multiply by millions, some slightly further along than these applets, some behind. Pollination has happened. (They are called applets, we're not being cute.)

On Farnum Hill the bloom season has moved very fast, after chilly weeks of delay. This week, weather hotted up, winds stayed down, every bug and bird wanting apple-blossom nectar went to work! They moved the pollen!

Now we're in the late stages of "petal fall" and right away the growing apples are plain to see. Those little bulges below the stamens? There! So here, obviously, the task of cross-pollination between varieties was accomplished. We know that baby pictures can get boring so we'll only show you a few more... just a few...

Applets WEB Spitz 20 950x636

in the cluster above are Esopus Spitzenberg, originally a New York apple, which so wowed Thomas Jefferson when it was a hot new 18thC variety - though it wouldn't grow in short-winter Virginia. Delicious for eating, keeps well, brings pure keen acids and lush florals to our ciders.

Applets WEB Ellis Closeup 950x636

Here's Ellis Bitter, one of our go-to bittersweets, which blooms a bit later than Spitz above so as you see the new apples are smaller. Ellis is strictly for satisfying cider, supplying a sturdy tannic frame, a range of unusual fruit notes, solid sugar content for a balanced amount of alcohol - but no fun at all in a fruit-bowl.
OK just one more, a snap during pollination just before petal-fall. That's it, we promise! More orchard check-ins as they grow!

Applets under bloom