Skokie apple grower has 178 varieties in back yard, does not like to eat apples
September 24, 2013 (SKOKIE, Ill.) (WLS) -- The apple harvest is in, and this fall it's a bumper crop.
For a north suburban Skokie man, that means he has the biggest little orchard since the days of Johnny Appleseed.
Gene Yale of Skokie has an average size backyard. But he has turned the small space into an apple lover's paradise. The apple trees are miniature, but the results are huge.
"More than 30 years ago, I started with a few miniature trees. I read about other apples that were available and... I kept planting apples," Yale said, adding he now has 178 varieties.
He has searched the world for the best tasting apples. Some sweet, some tart, some a combination of the best apple flavors. But he doesn't grow apples for their beauty. In fact, some are proof that apple ugliness is only skin deep.
"Some are knobbed like the ugly apple... The knobbed russet... But they all taste great," he said. "Ugly is more than beautiful in apples."
You're not going to find Delicious and Yellow Delicious and other popular names here. Here you find Yoko and Fireside and one called Fortune New York 429. They are as rare as Adam and Eve's apple.
Yale says you can't find them all in the supermarket. He grows thousands of apples every year and he gives most of them away.
So, how many apples does Gene Yale eat?
"Next to none a year. I hate to tell you that," he said. "Apples have never been -- I'm not a fruit eater. I love growing them... I don't eat them."
mathie, frank mathie
- CPD officer killed in crash after police chase 32 min ago
- Brief warmup followed by snow
- Digital assets becoming part of estate planning
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast
- Body found near Ind. river where woman last seen 27 min ago
- Con men targeting Mount Greenwood senior citizens
- Former Will Co. jail inmate sues over alleged excessive force
- State Rep. race in SW suburbs heats up
- Des Plaines Oasis closing for good Sunday
- 11th District Republicans hope to unseat Bill Foster
- Chicagoan helping to empower college students
- Ventra system only way to pay by July 1
- Video: Time-Lapse Video: Snow Melt in Naperville
- abcnews: Chris Brown Arrested for Violating Probation
- CPD officer killed in crash after police...
32 min ago