Field of Science

Desperate measures, expensive measures

When you get desperate enough, cost becomes no object.  Well, price is an object, but you don't mind spending a premium price to get what you want if there's no other way to get it.  In this particular instance TPP and most especially Mrs. Phactor want Northern Spy apples.  Usually we can get some at a boutique hobby orchard about 50 miles away, but this year an early warm spell followed by a freeze doomed the local apple crop almost totally.  Our favorite source in Michigan had a poor crop of this variety and are sold out of what they had.  So some online shopping identified a source not too far from where TPP grew up in upstate New York, some real apple country.  Now it may sound ridiculous to pay $100 for a bushel of apples, but these are Northern Spys, and if you think  you know quality apples and haven't tried one of these, you are in for some revisions.  They are crisp, firm, juicy, sweet-tart, and have a complex apple taste.  They store well and stand up well to baking.  They are Mrs. Phactor's favorite pie apple.  Of course if you think about the alternatives, the price isn't so bad.  Alternative one: do without.  Not a good alternative.  Alternative two: drive to Michigan on an apple quest.  Estimated cost: fuel $80, meals $60, lodging $80, apples $35, two days required.  Now of course there are other pleasant things associated with the trip (wineries), and the load of apples would be considerably larger than a bushel, but in general TPP is feeling pretty good about this purchase, its delivery to his door, and a piece of apple pie will make him feel even better.  BTW the Northern Spy has been difficult to grow, but now a dwarf variety is available, the Nova Spy, and the apples have retained the Northern Spy quality.


The Cranky said...

Now if I could only find Winesaps. Whilst I appreciate a good Northern Spy I truly love Winesaps.

The Phytophactor said...

Winesaps are another great apple, but totally lacking here in the great midwest.