Kavanagh Apple ScionwoodThis is a twig for grafting. Fall. Unknown parentage. Damariscotta Mills, Maine, 1790. Also called Cathead because of its distinctive shape with large stem end tapering to a small calyx end, typical of Irish apples. A large apple you see once and never forget. About half russet and half deep rich lime green. Slightly yellow flesh is mild, moderately crisp, moderately tart, and subtle. John’s orchard crew called it “vibrant, spunky, grassy and earthy with a nice punch.” Good for fall and early winter eating, excellent for cooking and drying. Foams up into creamy yellowish sauce, tart, tasty, medium-thick, a bit lumpy, no sugar necessary. The skin dissolves so there’s no need to strain the sauce. Locally renowned shipbuilder James Kavanagh brought this apple from Ireland as a seed or maybe a small tree when he moved to Maine. John first gathered scionwood with historian and Kavanagh-enthusiast George Dow from what was thought to be the last living tree. John’s since discovered a half dozen more, one as far away as Freeport and another on the Blue Hill Peninsula. Grows to be a huge long-lived tree. Blooms late. Z4-6.
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