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<   No. 956   2005-09-08   >

Comic #956

1 Mordekai: {walking to the town of Footcrag} So they grow apples here?
1 Alvissa: Yes.
2 Alvissa: The climate here in the foothills of the Orcrift Mountains is exactly right. Light winter frosts, clearing to an early spring with no strong prevailing winds.
3 Alvissa: 50 inches of rainfall evenly distributed throughout the growing season. Rich soil on well-drained sloping ground. Sweet eating cultivars on crabapple rootstock will do well.
4 Mordekai: That's a surprising amount of horticultural knowledge for a medieval fantasy setting.
4 Alvissa: I'm an elf. It's what we do.

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I learnt quite a bit about the best way to grow apples while researching this strip.


2014-11-18 Rerun commentary: The word "horticultural" is a surprising amount of linguistic knowledge for a medieval fantasy setting.

There's an apple growing region not far from where I live, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. The additional altitude gives the cooler climate that apples need, as opposed to the hot summers and mild winters of the coastal city. I do day trips up into the mountains occasionally, and the road winds past several orchards which have roadside stalls selling fresh fruit and also jams and preserves.

There's one place in particular which bakes apple pies. It's a large-ish shop with lots of fruit on display, and right in the middle of it is the baking kitchen. A team of two or three elderly ladies inhabits this island in the centre of the shop, kneading and rolling dough by hand and forming it into pies with freshly sliced apples, then popping them into the ovens they have there. The smell pervades the shop, and is wonderful.

Several times on the way home from a day trip I have stopped in this place to buy a hot pie, fresh out of the oven, and carry it home to have for dessert that evening. Mmmm.

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