remember greenhorns, there are more and more jobs managing historic farms + orchards. we will keep posting them.
Heirloom Apple Crops Increase
By Florence Fabricant
Spring does not bring to mind apples, but with the start of the growing season a nonprofit group called Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT), which works with Slow Food, has declared this the year of the heirloom apple.
It has published a booklet with charts, maps and studies about the loss of apple varieties and what is being done about it. The booklet, compiled and edited by Gary Paul Nabhan, estimates that 86 percent of the thousands of different apples that existed before 1900 have been lost, only 11 varieties account for 90 percent of the apples sold in supermarkets, and 41 percent of those are Red Delicious.
But the good news is that the cultivation of heirloom apples, like the Black Twigs above, is on the rise. There are even old orchards in some national parks that specialists are working to maintain.
“The Forgotten Fruits Manual & Manifesto — Apples,” a 32-page color booklet, can be downloaded from raftalliance.org. Click on “resources.”