Gold (C)Rush

 Gold Rush apple at Reed Valley Orchard in central Kentucky

Gold Rush apple at Reed Valley Orchard in central Kentucky

I have a problem with Gold Rush apples from Reed Valley Orchard. My problem recurs every fall—that's how lucky I am. Even in this year with its cruel April frost and brutal summer drought, my problem persists. I want to eat Gold Rush apples from morning to night, and not eat much else. That's my problem.

When I say how lucky I am, I mean that simply having the abundant Gold Rush crop this year is a wonder. Trudie Reed of Reed Valley Orchard says the orchard lost 50 percent of its overall crop this year. Yield decreased so dramatically that Trudie and her husband Dana did not have enough fruit to take up their standard anchoring spot at the Lexington Farmers Market, an absence many Reed fans mourn. Some apples failed to produce at all this year. Neither of my other two apple heart throbs, Honeycrisp and Stayman Winesap, bore fruit. In 2012 political debate terms, they did not show up. Empty chairs come to mind.

Gold Rush, however, like Mitt Romney in Debate 1 and both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in Debate 2, showed up ready to make a case. That case: best all around taste, best keeper (in zipped plastic bags, in a refrigerator), BIGGEST taste surprise in its non-showy package.

 Gold Rush apples in October 2012, Reed Valley Orchard, Kentucky

Gold Rush apples in October 2012, Reed Valley Orchard, Kentucky

I marveled at the abundance of Gold Rush apples still on trees at Reed's this week. I tried counting apples on one tree, and lost count at 200+. Dana Reed confirmed that the Orchard contains multiple "Four Bushel" trees, each yielding about 400 apples. I have new respect for the work a single apple tree completes in one growing season. Even I cannot eat my way through four bushels, or at least I haven't yet.

Reed Valley Orchard includes dozens of apple varieties in addition to Gold Rush, along with other delicious fruits. Apples and many food and literary treats—including Sweet, Sweet Sorghum—will be available until late November at the Orchard store, 239 Lail Lane, Paris, Kentucky. Call 859.987.6480 if you have questions. The Orchard closes on Sundays and Tuesdays.

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