by George Naughton | Dec 17, 2021 | Blog
We enjoyed the apple harvest at the beginning of November, with the local Cider Days and its offerings of fresh apples, sweet cider, and hard cider. Poet Robert Francis of Cushman wrote about apples in late autumn:
The winter apples have been picked, the garden turned.
Rain and wind have picked the maple leaves and gone.
The last of them now bank the house or have been burned.
None are left upon the trees or on the lawn.
The Amherst Historical Society is fortunate to have a video of Mr. Henry Lyman’s lecture about Robert Francis, as well as a lecture by Mr. Russell Powell about the history and varieties of New England apples, and about John Chapman, of Leominster, Mass, who was also known as Johnny Appleseed.
by Amherst History | Oct 23, 2020 | 2020 History Bites
by Russell Powell
“As American as apple pie…” Apples have been part of American history and folklore since colonial days. Orchards used to cover the hillsides of New England until Prohibition times when most of the trees, which were used more for the production of hard cider than edible fruit, were cut down. But now that cider is coming back into fashion, the orchards with their many varieties of new and heirloom apples are being regrown.
This fascinating lecture will offer advice about rare heirlooms and newly discovered varieties, comments on the rich tradition of apple growing in New England and on the “fathers” of American apples―Massachusetts natives John Chapman (“Johnny Appleseed”) and Henry David Thoreau. Apples of New England will present the apple in all its splendor: as biological wonder, super food, work of art, and cultural icon.
Russell Steven Powell served as executive director of the New England Apple Association from 1998 to 2011, and since then has been its senior writer. He publishes the blog newenglandorchards.org, and is the author of America’s Apple. He was founding editor and publisher of New England Watershed Magazine, named Best New Publication of 2006 by Utne Reader. He lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts.