2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Amazing Illustrated History Of North American Apples
“We didn’t have room for an additional 3,800 watercolor images of old varieties,” says Bussey. “I’ve since collected descriptions for another 1,000 or more apple varieties.”
Bussey plans to do an update that breaks out apple varieties by region of origination. The 3,742-page, 7-volume set is impressive, but he thinks regional breakouts will be more interesting to people living in those regions.
“We plan to include more detailed histories as we learn them with names and dates.”
“People with stories and information on apple varieties have contacted me to share what they know,” says Bussey.
Bussey grew up in a house in the middle of an old apple orchard and later developed his own apple orchard with close to 200 varieties.
After he sold the orchard, a cider company began working with the new owners and developed a cider using Garfield and Minkler apples. Both varieties originated in the Midwest in the 1800’s and likely were used for cider then.
More recently, Bussey served as orchard manager and apple historian at Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa. Currently he is involved in a project to identify old orchards on a 3,000-acre site of a WWII ammunition plant. His goal is to graft an orchard of apple varieties he locates as a memorial to farm families who lost their land to the plant.
Bussey has simple guidelines he follows for finding old trees and identifying their variety. “Go out in the spring when apple trees are in bloom and look for the white and pink blossoms,” says Bussey. “Identify the location, and then return in the fall to look for the apples.”
The 7-volume set has been sold primarily to agricultural libraries. Originally priced at $320, the set is now available for $220.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jak Kaw Press, P.O. Box 218, Mt. Horeb, Wis. 53572 (ph 844 567-5888; www.jakkawpress.com); or Daniel Bussey, 545 S. St., Ridgeway, Iowa 52165 (ph 608 289-2098; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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