An unnamed University of Minnesota selection that is not currently slated for release. It’s an attractive, mildly sweet and flavorful late-season apple with crunchy, dryish, dense flesh. Depending on when a given apple is picked, it may be just slightly on the tart side or just slightly on the sweet side, but never overpowering either way. Usually round in shape with a low-intensity red striping over a green-orange undercolor. It comes around to a nearly full red with no indication of striping when conditions are favorable. The fruit tends toward large, and it’s a good keeper.
We’ve been growing MN 1622 since 1987. As with all of our varieties, we try to pick each apple at the optimum time, and we’re willing to “spot pick” repeatedly to get it right. We’re used to having bin after bin of beautiful, properly ripened fruit showing up at our packinghouse door. Well, one time in the late nineties I went to check on the crews in the orchard and found the wrong crew picking the MN 1622′s. They weren’t experienced, and the leader was really a crew-member from one of our other crews and not ready to be the leader. They had seen me coming, and it was only then that the “leader” took a look to see how his guys were picking. Apparently he knew I wouldn’t be pleased with some of the under-mature apples they’d picked, so he had them feverishly select them out of the bin and discard them a couple rows away on the ground before I got there.
Unaware of that, I looked at what they had in the bin and gave them my approval.
Sometimes there’s no explaining what I do, but I thought I’d go look at the State Fair apple trees close by, just to the west of the 1622′s. They had been picked clean almost two months earlier, so there wouldn’t be anything too exciting to see. But wait… how did these big, beautiful 1622′s get here on the ground? They would have been perfect in another week! Who did this?!
Well, I’m supposed to be real nice and everything, but I’m pretty sure those guys wouldn’t have used “real nice” to describe me right then.
“We wait all year for these apples! We don’t need ‘em today. We need ‘em when they’re ready! One more week and they’d have been perfect!”
I did give them enough information to conclude that I never wanted to see that happen again.
I’ve never seen that happen again.