Have you ever seen apple trees that look like tomato shoots? I was surprised too! But here, on the territory of the experimental “intensive garden” with an area of 400 hectares, according to the laws of modern agronomy, they grow this way.
Low trees with a maximum height of 2-2.5 meters with a spreading crown covered with crimson fruits, which are really easy to take for tomatoes, if not for the melon-honey spirit of the American variety Honey Crisp, soaring on the plantation and tickling appetite! The similarity with the greenhouse is enhanced by a transparent fine mesh, which is designed to protect the fruit from crows, as well as from hail.
All these innovations: the unusual shape of the crown, the modest height of apple trees, the net, and the automated watering, and artificial lighting – in the gardens near Lebedianyu with almost 90 years of history recently introduced Bruno Marme – an expert from France. And, it should be noted, the measures taken by him give high results. This summer was not rich for apples, which gardeners and gardeners are well aware of, but the plantation near Lipetsk did not affect the bad weather.
Harvesting at the end of September was in full swing there, but we did not notice any buckets and baskets. And again, thanks to Bruno: he canceled them once and for all. “The whole salt is not how to pick apples, but how to pour them,” explained the Gallic agronomist with a sly squint, helping me put a box with straps on my shoulders and encouraging me to take action.
It turned out that a fabric gutter was mounted in the bottom of the miraculous structure, along which apples should be carefully poured into the box. I tried to perform this trick with the look of an experienced gardener, but a pair of fragrant balls with a booming ring still fell to the ground. And if you approach the matter skillfully, like professional collectors, then this manner of treatment ensures maximum safety of the fruit, because every dent in a matter of hours turns into a hotbed of harmful bacteria and accelerates the processes of decay.
I had to promise Bruno that next time I will be more careful. The result of each shift of one worker is 80 kilograms of hand-picked apples, and the total weight of the grown crop is as much as 20 tons.
I admit honestly: I gave myself the word to take Bruno’s precepts into service, because at my dacha, apples have not been bearing fruit for five years already.
Before the big journey, apples undergo scrupulous inspection. All fruits are poured on the conveyor belt and sent under the closer look of the mini-cameras of the scanning device. Having examined each apple in 46 projections, the picky robot makes a verdict: any defect – and the fruit leaves the competition, falling into the container with the defective goods.
Then part of the crop is sent for sale, and part goes to the Progress plant, where FrutoNyan baby food is produced. Upon arrival, the apples first take a shower, and then on a special conveyor they are divided into two batches. From one make applesauce, and from the other – apple juice.
But not simple, but restored. What does this mean, we explained clearly. I always dreamed of becoming a chemist, and that day I was very lucky.
Three glass flasks were placed in front of us in the laboratory. In the first – by the form of water, but in fact – natural aroma-forming substances derived from apples. In the second, a dark-brown liquid is a concentrated apple juice, which is pre-evaporated and warmed in a predetermined way so that it is kept longer and so that it does not have to add preservatives.
By the way, thanks to the gentle heat treatment, all the vitamins and other useful substances are preserved in the juice. When I mixed three ingredients and tried my “elixir”, the taste was exactly the same as the one from the bag. At the same time I did not want to add a sweet tooth, I did not want to add sugar: the drink turned out to be sweet by nature.
By the same principle – without sugar and with the preservation of useful substances – from the other half of apples are mashed. Glass packaging is checked three times for the presence of chips – each operator examines the light manually, and if a defect is found, the entire batch is removed from production.
The health and safety of children at the Progress plant has been of paramount importance for almost 30 years.