Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

The Gravenstein Apple – A Vanishing Gem

As promised in my prior posting, I just want to take a few moments to devote some space in my blog to tell my followers of the plight of the humble Gravenstein Apple – one of nature’s finest creations! One of the highlights of my recent vacation in Northern California came on Monday, August 24 when I had the good fortune to get a first-hand view of apple production at two of Sononma County’s largest apple growers.

My first stop came at Ratzlaff’sApple-A-Day” ranch where one of the owners – Mr. Ratzlaff himself – pointed the way to two large bins containing some of the ripest Gravensteins ever – these apples are perfect for making apple sauce. Mr. Ratzlaff weighed out the 18 pounds of apples I had personally selected.

I purchased 18 pounds of orange-red Gravensteins …. puuuuurfect!!

The second stop came at Walker Apples. The young Mr. Walker was so kind and gave me a tour of his orchard.

During the walk through his orchard, Mr. Walker told me of the many problems he and the other apple packers in Sonoma County are facing. Turns out the USA is literally being flooded by a sea of imported apple juice from Asia! That, coupled with the rising value in grapes and the replacement of many orchards with vineyards is threatening to cause the demise of the Gravenstein Apple. Most folks who read this posting may not care about all this … BUT if you have ever tasted a sweet Gravenstein apple, well, you would know of which I speak!! Sure there are many other apples sold in grocery stores, many quite satisfying. Sadly, however, Gravensteins are only grown in Sonoma County and if they stopped growing these little gems, that would represent a true loss in what the locals refer to as biodiversity.
For more details, I refer you to the following WEB sites:
Walker Apples is the LAST actual apple packer in the county. There are still other orchards in the area but they only sell to the public directly and don’t ship the apples around the country as does Walker Apples.

The finished product – delicious apple sauce. No sugar was required to make this sweet pleasure. Mmm-mm good!!

If you made it to the end of this posting, many thanks!!! I would certainly appreciate any and all comments!

And now – assuming all goes as scheduled – it is time for yet another trip! See you later this week ….