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 thoughts on “The Apples that are Going Extinct”

  1. 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. 😉

    1. 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. 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…:-)

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

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

  3. 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! : )

  4. 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!! 🙂

        1. 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. 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

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

  6. 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.

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