From the founding of Jamestown to the time of Washington and Jefferson, every plantation owner made cider, drank cider, and bragged about his cider.
RALLS is also known as Ralls Janet, Ralls Genet, Neverfail, and dozens of other names. The connection between Caleb Ralls who owned and lived on 624 acres on Tobacco Row Mountain in Amherst County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and Edmond Genet, the French minister to the United States when Jefferson was secretary of state, remains obscure. Beach notes (in 1905) "First known about this variety is that trees were growing on the farm of M. Caleb Ralls in Amherst county, Virginia, something over a hundred years ago." Medium in size and roundish-oblate in shape, the greenish-yellow skin is flushed, mottled, and streaked with various hues of pink, red and crimson over one-half or more of the surface. Yellow, or russet, and white dots, are conspicuous, and scarfskin may be present on some fruit. The yellowish flesh of this dessert apple has a greenish tinge and is dense, crisp, and tender with a tart-sweet balance of flavor. When cut, the flesh exudes a sweet aroma. The moderately vigorous trees have an open framework with considerably twiggy growth that can be described as brushy, which makes it difficult to prune. Ralls will produce good fruit under a low spray program even with its slight susceptibility to scab and bitter rot. Blossom fireblight is its major disease problem, but even though it may be severe, the set and production is not affected. In thinning, consideration must be make that the "June drop" does not affect this variety. Blooms in early May, and this very late flowering assures a crop set. Ralls was one of a number of American seedling varieties imported by the Japanese to establish an apple breeding program. From the cross of Ralls and Red Delicious came Fuji. Ralls is also widely grown in China. It stores particularly well and ripens in Virginia the first week of October.
- Mid Fall - October