From the Perth & District Historical Society–CLICK HERE
Did you know one of the oldest Canadian varieties, known since the 1650s, and widely planted in Canada and the USA. Its main use is in cooking.
Our local mystery this month concerns the Lanark Greening apple, which was developed in Fallbrook, Bathurst Township, and became famous early in this area – and yet there are no known trees remaining here today. Perhaps, the old green apple tree on your property is one?
The Lanark Greening apple was developed by Robert Anderson, at his Fallbrook nursery, located on Concession 8, Lot 21, in Bathurst. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Robert and his son John provided fresh fruit – and fruit tree seedlings, including the Lanark apple – throughout Lanark and Renfrew Counties. The apple is said to have been large, hard, sweet and long-lasting.
In her book, Claudia Smith relates: “The local fruit salesmen (Robert and John) delivered saplings around the countryside, in the spring. They peddled the rootstock for their newly developed apple, the Lanark Greening, from the back of a wagon. This new apple was a fine hard-cooking apple and a ‘a good keeper’. To this day, Lanark Greening apple trees can be found in orchards or gardens near abandoned farm buildings or next to the stone foundations of a log house long fallen through time.”
There were other greening apples on the market in the 1800s, perhaps some of which might also remain on our local properties today. The Rhode Island Greening was the second most popular apple in Ontario orchards, prior to 1875 (later lost market due to disease susceptibility). It was a hardy, crooked tree, with hard, large, round, light green fruit.
Agriculture Canada has not lost the apple – it is listed in their Gene Resources archive as ‘CN 102945 Lanark Greening’. Seedlings for the Lanark are still available, in at least one southern Ontario nursery.
Do you happen to know where a local Lanark Greening apple tree exists?
Thanks to Claudia Smith, for part of this information, from the book ‘Gypsies, Preachers and Big White Bears: One Hundred Years on Country Roads’.
Please email us your thoughts about this mystery: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Barrie and Pat Crampton advise that they have a green apple tree on their property that might be a candidate for the lost Lanark Greening apple. Barrie was the person who raised the question of what had happened to this local apple, examples of which seem to have been lost in our community. Their tree is located in Chaplin Heights, which was part of the Chaplin Dairy farm in Glen Tay (a Bathurst business that served this area for many decades – the story of which we hope to eventually have on our website).
- Bill Barratt has a tree on his property near McDonalds Corners that is a major producer of a very large, tasty and long-lasting green apple. The apple was said by an orchard owner in Picton to make the best cider he had ever tasted that was not produced by multiple varieties. One source thought it might be a ‘Gibson’ variety which was apparently grown in a McDonalds Corners area.
- The McFarlane family in north Drummond/North Elmsley Township have a greening apple tree on their property in an old orchard, that produces apples with some of the Lanark Greening characteristics – fairly large, and best when harvested after frost. They also make great pie and crisp, which will probably attract the apple judges.
GREEN APPLE PIE
4 c. green apples cored, peeled and sliced
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Combine sliced green apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Place all ingredients in an unbaked pie shell. Add a few dabs of butter. Top with unbaked pie crust. (Be sure to cut slits in top crust to let steam escape.) Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until top crust is a golden brown.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.