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.