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Growing Good Food at Home

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Curator’s Corner: Audacious Apples: The Complete Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Apples

Get a glimpse inside our Apple Collection, where our Editorial Director Norann Oleson reviews everything you need to know about growing your own apples.

Norann Oleson, Editorial Director of Food Gardening Network

Norann Oleson, Editorial Director of Food Gardening Network

Welcome to the wonderful world of apples!

Apples seem to be with us no matter where we are. We can visit the Big Apple. We know that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; we also know that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Now, I don’t want to upset the apple cart, so we’ll keep our focus on comparing apples to apples—and there are thousands of apples to consider!

We only see a tiny slice of the apple varieties that are available for home growers when we get apples at the market. You really have a wide variety of choices when it comes to growing your own apples!

Apple trees can grow in open land, in raised beds, and in containers where growing space is limited. You can even train your apple tree to grow along a wall, fence, or trellis! No matter the size of your garden space, you can find an apple variety to suit your situation.

First is the collection’s Introduction, where you’ll learn some of the basics about apples and how to choose the right variety to grow. You’ll also get the history of this tasty fruit!

Next, in the Feature Articles, you’ll get specifics about apple growing—from the two basic types of apples to the distinct varieties and sizes of trees you can grow, to the best way to start growing your apple tree, to watering, fertilizing, and winterizing your trees so they stay healthy and productive year after year.

There’s a lot to know about apple growing, so even if you already have your own home orchard, you might learn something new. We aim to gather everything there is to know about apple growing into this single collection!

We have several delicious Plant Profiles with popular varieties listed, including options for gardeners around the country and those who want to grow apple trees in containers.

After all, this is Food Gardening Network, and we want to include the knowledge of all our gardening readers in everything we do. Your input is just as important to us as anything we come up with on our own!

We do think you’ll love the apple Recipes we’ve compiled for enjoying the fruits of your labor. They’ll help you make the most of your apple harvest, and inspire you to develop your own variations.

Friends and family will love what you can do with fresh apples, beyond the basic apple pie.

After that, you’ll be interested to learn how apples can benefit your health in Nutrition Facts about Apples. The little apple is an antioxidant superhero!

Then there are the Home Remedies & Health Benefits of Apples where you’ll learn how apples are believed to help heart health, prevent cancer, and contribute to better digestive health.

There are thousands of apple varieties grown in the United States, but only about 100 are grown commercially. That means you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing your own apple varieties. We’ve chosen apple varieties that have a high degree of disease resistance and that have a reputation for being easy to grow. Many of these apple varieties are available in dwarf form, so you don’t need a sprawling garden to have apples. If you’d like us to include another apple variety that appeals to you, please let me know by commenting below.

Because we want you to have everything there is to know about apples at your fingertips, we’ve included a Resources section that’s complementary to this collection. Learn more about tools specific to apple growing, and kitchen tools that will come in handy after you’ve harvested your apples.

As always, we’ve included a brief Glossary in case you need a deeper explanation of any key terms. Be sure to let us know if there’s something else you need explained!

I’m off to make some Caramel Apples right now, but I hope you’re ready to dive in and become an expert apple grower!

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