[NAFEX] feral apples

John Bunker jbunker at gwi.net
Wed May 5 22:00:36 EDT 2004

Ed, Tom, Jerry et al,

I agree with much of what all of you have said. I have spent quite a bit of
time over the past twenty + years tracking down apple varieties originating
in Maine.  These tend to be very obscure, many not listed anywhere.  It does
not particularly concern me that some I like and some I don't.  I would like
to suggest another reason to keep up the search not yet mentioned in this
most recent discussion.

Most of us in Maine live where not so long ago virtually everyone lived on
farms. Here, our history is our agricultural history. Tracking down the
apples has given me a tremendous appreciation of our past.  It's put me in
touch with dozens, perhaps hundreds of older people who are brimming over
with fascinating information about our heritage.  Up here, the apple was
king, and different local varieties are tied to the revolution, the
formation of communities, ethnic movements, the development of the
railroads, the ice harvesting, the canneries and evaporators, the cider
mills and more.  You can create a vivid picture of the Maine farm and the
history of the state just by researching the stories behind the apples.

In Unity, Maine we've established an orchard of varieties originating in the
state.  It's been fun and I think quite useful.



John Bunker
P.O. Box 520
Waterville ME 04903

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