Our Apple Heritage with Dan Bussey

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This past Friday, a dozen apple enthusiasts gathered at Heritage Farm for a heritage apple sampling and presentation by SSE’s orchard manager Dan Bussey. Dan’s encyclopedic knowledge of apple provenance and the historic culture surrounding the fruit was astounding – there wasn’t a variety mentioned that Dan had not researched, tasted, or grafted himself.

Dan’s expertise is largely founded on a lifelong curiosity regarding what he terms ‘the lexicon of apple names’, a journey that began with his first nursery catalog (a single-page typewritten catalog from Otto Baum’s in Fairfield, Connecticut) and continues today as he finishes his forthcoming book (tentatively titled The Apple in North America), which describes 20,000 named apple varieties.

The following audio represents most of Dan’s hour-long presentation. Beginning with his own pomological history, Dan describes cider-making and cider-sampling as a child in Wisconsin and the movement of apples out of Kazakhstan, into Europe and eventually North America. He talks about the merits of Johnny Appleseed, describes his role as the orchard manager for Seed Savers Exchange, and concludes his talk with a discussion of the best strategies for preserving heritage apple varieties.

Check back soon for other audio/video summaries of our Harvest Lecture Series.

Really Funky Names and Thousands of Gallons of Cider

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Pomological Watercolors and Publications

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Malus sieversii and the Stans

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Ancient Apples and the Kandil Sinap

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Apples Invade America on Three Fronts

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Apple Diversity and Cider Blends

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Early American Homesteading and an Eccentric Swedenborgian

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Wild Crabs and other Malus

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Ephemeral Peaks, Pocket Apples and Gene Splicing

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Sampling Apples and a Gnarly-Lookin’ Little Bugger

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Orchard Management, Rehabilitation and Precociousness

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Heritage Apples and the Fascinating Characters who Preserve Them

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The Best Hope for Preservation

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Our New Orchard and its Cheese Apples

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An Orchard from a Single Apple and Cattle as Nurserymen

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Lectures were supported by a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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