If we are planting our tomatoes, can apple season be far away?
Here in Sonoma County the gravensteins appear in early August, around the same time that the tomatoes are going full out. Slow Food Russian River has a project to protect the grav, a traditional variety, the best for sauce many of us think. And Slow Food USA, through it's Recovering America's Food Traditions (RAFT) initiative has declared 2010 the year of the heirloom apple.
A very cursory web search did not result in much more information than this - just a lot of opinions about down with Red Delicious, and up with apple variety. I'm rather inclined to say down with Fuji, too - at least based on a taste comparison I did in the fall. They aren't as insipid as the pointy red ones, but they aren't very exciting either, and they seem to be taking over.
What can we do? the best thing would seem to be to plan to seek out local varieties of apples this year at farmers' markets and maybe even in others' back yards! I'm inspired to see if we might not plant (not now!) a rare apple variety or two in the communal area of our community garden.