York County Crazy over Fruit
Apple developed by James Hersh of neighboring Adams County, c.1880
Over the years, York area people have taken pride in their fruit and vegetables, growing gigantic specimens or even developing new strains. Click on these links for previous posts on the York Imperial Apple and York Imperial Cherry.
Mr. Cicero proudly grew figs in his East King Street back yard in 1950s. A previous post showed Christian Leaman’s 1809 pumpkin, as big as a barrel. George Anstine, of Lower Windsor Township, was not to be outdone. According to the York Gazette of October 30, 1855, Anstine brought his prize quince in to the newspaper office to be admired. According to the resulting article (see below), he also grew some pretty big apples. For comparison–I just weighed a very large peach and it only weighed half a pound.
“Fruit from Lower Windsor.
MR. GEORGE ANSTINE, of Lower Windsor, lays upon our table the best specimen of a QUINCE we have ever seen. He does not give us the name of the particular variety–but it is apple-shaped, very regularly formed, bright gold color, and weighs exactly one pound. Mr. Anstine is among the number of farmers in this county, (annually increasing, we are glad to say) who are bestowing a commendable degree of attention upon the culture of fruit–and York bids fair to become noted for the variety and excellence of her fruit. Accompanying the quince were some very fine apples, of a variety we do not recollect to have previously seen, also raised by Mr. Anstine. He gives their name as the Reading Pippin. They weight from 12 to 15 ounces, pale green on one side and dark red with white spots, on the other. This apple is certainly worthy the attention of those who are now establishing orchards, or who desire to increase their varieties. Trees of the Reading Pippin may be had, we understand, at a nursery in Lower Windsor, near Mr. Anstine’s.”
When I was quite small and lived on a farm, my swing was on a quince tree. My mother made quince jelly out of the fruit.
Quinces do not seem to be very popular at present around here, although they are in some other parts of the world, where the growing season is longer and they can sweeten on the tree. Quinces grown here are aren’t pleasant to eat raw, but they can be made into great jellies and jams. Quincesauce, like applesauce, is said to be good–just use lots of sugar.
Click here for more on quinces and jelly recipe.
Even more, including more recipes.
George Anstine also invented a threshing machine.