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
Pomological Watercolors and Publications
Malus sieversii and the Stans
Ancient Apples and the Kandil Sinap
Apples Invade America on Three Fronts
Apple Diversity and Cider Blends
Early American Homesteading and an Eccentric Swedenborgian
Wild Crabs and other Malus
Ephemeral Peaks, Pocket Apples and Gene Splicing
Sampling Apples and a Gnarly-Lookin’ Little Bugger
Orchard Management, Rehabilitation and Precociousness
Heritage Apples and the Fascinating Characters who Preserve Them
The Best Hope for Preservation
Our New Orchard and its Cheese Apples
An Orchard from a Single Apple and Cattle as Nurserymen
Lectures were supported by a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture