At Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva, NY: apricots, $4.50/quart; plums, $3.50/quart; New Jersey Macintosh apples, $1.25/lb.
You might think Red Jacket Orchards, which primarily sells apples, would be taking its cues from the lazy days of summer. Instead, Justone, who runs Red Jacket Orchards’ Greenmarket program, is priming for the beginning of apple season, which in his world, has already started. When I think of apples, I think of crisp fall days and leaves the shade of sunsets and sunrises. But the first apples of the season, New Jersey Macintosh, are already in. Summer apples, as some call them. They’re crispy, juicy and cheek-sucking tart. New Jersey Macintosh, and the other varieties, are grown on about 500 acres of land outside Geneva, New York. Red Jacket Orchards is not certified organic but they practice integrated pest management, which involves keeping the trees small to avoid a lot of spray and also targeting only those trees that need help.
Beginning in September you’ll recognize some of your favorites, like Gala, and a new favorite, Ginger Gold. As Justone explains, Ginger Gold was allegedly born during a lucky cross-breeding incident during a hurricane in West Virginia about twenty years ago. They’re crispy sweetness is perfect in one of his favorite apple recipes: grate the apple and slice a bulb of fennel; toss with olive oil, salt and lemon. Sauté sea scallops with a mixture of honey and orange and serve with the apple fennel salad. A slightly different way to enjoy a very familiar fruit.