[By Marcia Milner-Brage from Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA]
OK. I’m letting the secret out: the best apples that you can get anywhere are from the boulevard tree on 2nd Street. The car wash is on 1st on the same block. McDonald’s drive-thru exit is one block down 2nd.
|Apple Tree on 2nd Street|
Every year this tree is filled with apples. Rarely wormy. Oddly shaped. Very hard—they store along time. Nobody bothers to pick them, except us, even though they’re on public land. Remarkably, the fruit hangs on the tree into January. Only a few drop to the ground. When we walk by, we stand on tippy-toes to snitch a few and stuff our pockets. We’re like squirrels scavenging for winter.
|Scavenged Apples Inside|
This year we succumbed to their goodness: With a stepladder, my husband hauled in over 20 pounds. They’re piled on platters all over the house. We’ll store some in our unheated garage. We cook them in our morning oatmeal and they don’t get mushy. I’ll make a pie or two for the holidays. We have no idea what kind of apple they are—Prairie Spy? Courtland? Haralson? Chieftain? Who knows? Some old-timey variety? The City planted many trees in this neighborhood in the 1980s. All we know is we’ve never tasted anything quite like them. And besides, nine blocks from our house, this is the ultimate of the movement to Eat Local.
See the lead-up sketch to the Apple Tree on 2nd (above) on Urban Sketchers Midwest. Because I couldn't find parking in the optimal spot, this was not the composition I really wanted.