“Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today“
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Ok, so we have no bananas…but here are the actual factuals…
1. We are developing new apple varieties and have more than 3000 of them under test right now! Monolith and Ludicrisp are named successes, but we also have some coming along which may be quite exciting flavor-wise.
2. Our first breeding project (which resulted in Monolith) was started 30 years ago in our college apartment. It does take many years to develop a new variety, but at least apple seeds are easier to coerce into growing as compared to banana seeds from the commerical Cavendish banana, which, as a triploid, only contains seed-looking things…but they’ll never actually grow as seeds do.
3. There are indeed bananas growing in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens. If you haven’t been to Longwood yet (or in awhile), spring is a beautiful time to visit!
4. We do trap inordinate quantities of Japanese beetles and other pests here on the farm. At the height of beetle season, we’re trapping gallons of them daily. Farmer Ike speaks of “walking the trap line” each day, although rather than checking for critters for the dinner table or to collect/sell pelts from, these traps are full of creepy crawlies which we end up simply adding to our compost pile (hey – compost is black gold for a farmer and home gardener!)
5. So “Polaris” banana from NSO doesn’t exist. But stay tuned, as that may end up as a name for one of our new apple varieties. Farmer Ike has decided to assign star and constellation names to any of our home-bred varieties from here on out.
6. You can’t reserve a $100 banana (at least from us), but you can help support our efforts to develop new apple varieties by sponsoring an apple tree on the farm. Developing new varieties which have some natural disease and pest resistance as well as awesome flavor, is a grand adventure, but also takes a lot of time and effort. We’ll keep you posted about new (and REAL!) creations as soon as they reveal themselves!