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The Apples that are Going Extinct

After frying my brains on research all fall and throwing tomatoes into the freezer to be processed later, I’m happy to say we preserved some food.  Two bushels of fresh banana apple applesauce, to be exact.

Marnell had long talked about the banana apples of his child. After scouring the Western Hemisphere (well almost) and finding none, I turned to my cousin in Lancaster County. She text me to say that she was giving up hope, as none could be found there. One orchard had two trees that had not yielded a crop, and the other had just pushed their trees over. 

I gave up. If Elkhart County doesn’t have it and Lancaster County doesn’t have it, it’s time to call off the search. 

However, Lancaster County came around in the end, and Laura’s friend found two bushels at a produce auction.  Since Laura was coming this weekend with her family, the apples got a ride to Elkhart County, where I gratefully collected them at my aunt’s. I took them  home and did a trial run, having not made applesauce in about 20 years.

“Better document this because we might never have them again if they’re this hard to get,” Marnell said today when we sauced the rest. 

So, since I am lacking in inspiration and already four hours late, allow me to say no more. But I will give you a glimpse of the documentation: the apples that are going extinct, and the man who enjoys eating them! 

20 Responses to The Apples that are Going Extinct

  1. Colleen November 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm #

    I dare say for a girl who grew up surrounded by apples, I have never heard of banana apples! Unless they have another name in these parts!?? Looks like you have good help anyways. You should keep him around. 😉

    • 500Admin November 3, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

      I do plan to keep him around… and I do believe the banana apples originated in Indiana if that makes you feel any better!

  2. Sandra Miller November 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm #

    What if you saved some seeds, plant them and see if you cannot grow some in the future? Don’t have a lot to lose…:-)

    • 500Admin November 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

      I thought about that 🤔 I think they are all out in the garden now, so maybe we will have a volunteer!

      • Rose Shirk November 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

        I grew up with an orchard. I’m pretty sure we had banana apples. Of course, this orchard no longer exists!

        • Katrina November 21, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

          Interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Linda November 3, 2018 at 9:53 pm #

    I live a WHOLE LOT CLOSER to Lancaster PA than you do, and I’ve NEVER HEARD of them!! Are they named this because of their flavor? If so, I’m not too disappointed! : )

    • 500Admin November 3, 2018 at 10:03 pm #

      I guess so! They are soft but don’t taste exactly like a banana I don’t think.

  4. Beth November 3, 2018 at 11:45 pm #

    Pulling the table apart, to clamp the Victoria strainer on the edge is pretty nifty!! We clamp on the edge of a countertop, with the spout sticking out over the front of the counter. The sauce goes down into a clean 5 gallon bucket. One bucket holds about 20 quarts, but that’s doing things on a large family scale. 🙂 the whole operation is a sticky mess, as you know. So the fronts of the counter in that vicinity get cover w plastic attached with tape. Enjoy the fruits of your labours!! 🙂

    • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 6:42 am #

      Yes, our system was small scale! Those are good strategies to keep in mind!

      • Bethany Eicher November 4, 2018 at 8:34 am #

        On an even grander scale, hooking a drill up to the victoria strainer turns your operation into a veritable sauce factory! 😃😃

        • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

          Yes my husband suggested that and I said, we only do this once a year so we don’t need anything high tech! But if we did many more we might!

  5. Verlin November 3, 2018 at 11:56 pm #

    I would love to have some seedlings or even seeds. We used to have one when I was still at home but it’s gone now

    • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 6:42 am #

      I really should go collect some seeds and give that a try!

  6. Candy November 4, 2018 at 1:28 am #

    I think they are known as “Winter Banana (Apple) and possibly grown in California.

    • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 6:44 am #

      Yes, I did find the word winter attached, and should have included it. Thanks for the reminder, and the suggestion about California.

  7. Bertha November 4, 2018 at 1:03 am #

    Banana apples are alive and well in Oregon! Our local produce/apple stand sells them.

    • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 6:45 am #

      Oh, that’s good to know! Maybe the climate agrees better with them there.

  8. Cindi Troyer November 4, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    I never heard of Winter Banana apple till I moved here to Holmes County. Pretty sure Hillcrest Orchard in Walnut Creek sells them and the trees are also available here, if I remember right.

    • 500Admin November 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

      That’s good to know! Perhaps we can do this every year. 😀