Last Tuesday we gathered several of our homeschooling friends and went apple picking at Holmberg Orchards. Mr. Holmberg gave us a tour of the packing area where we learned that the apples are all handled by hand to keep them from bruising. Once they are in the huge bins that hold 15 bushels of apples they are placed in a tank of water where they float to the surface and are carried on the water current onto conveyors. There they are gently brushed clean, sorted by weight, and packed into baskets and crates to be stored in the 35 degree storage room for up to six months.
We learned that McCoun is pronounced like the word "noun" and that an apple seed must go through a period of being cold in order to germinate. An apple seed won't produce true to type; in other words, a seed form a McIntosh apple won't produce McIntosh apples but some other hybrid. All the apples that are produced come from grafted trees.
After we finished picking our apples, we went to the Welch's house and made several pies.