Some rare apples identified at Venersborg fest

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Venersborg — Many mystery apples were brought to the Sixth-Annual Heirloom Apple Fest at the Venersborg Schoolhouse on Oct. 28. The Home Orchard Society was on hand to identify approximately 80 unknown apples that folks plucked from home trees -- many of which were planted a century ago. Ten "unusual or rare" apples were found. "That is outstanding, and it was a big surprise to all of us," said organizer Jacqueline Freeman. The 10 odd apple breeds were: Olympia, Palouse ("very rare"); Paragon (from Tennessee, circa 1870); Hawkeye (Iowa, 1870); Kidd's Orange Red (yellow-orange with red stripes, from New Zealand circa 1924); Rambo (introduced in 1637 by a Swedish immigrant); White Winter Pearmain (brought to Indiana in a saddlebag in the early 1800s, rare by the early 1900s); Wolf River (an enormous apple from Wisconsin); Winter Banana (blushing yellow, smelling faintly of bananas); and Yellow Belleflower (traced to 1817 New Jersey, introduced into the Pacific Northwest a century later).