American Horticulture Society Award Winner
The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, traditionally picked on cool fall days and used in pies, crisps, and ciders. And there is a vast world of varieties that goes beyond the common grocery store offerings of Red Delicious and Granny Smith. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavors ranging from sweet to tart, this treasure trove of unique apples is ripe for discovery.
There is no better guide through this tasty world than Tom Burford, whose family has grown apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1715. The book is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. As the view broadens to the orchard, you will find information on planting, pruning, grafting, and more. The exploration of the apple culminates with an overview of the fruit’s transformative capabilities when pressed, fermented, cooked, or dried. Beyond the polished and predictable grocery store display of Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, a feast of beautiful and uniquely flavored North American varieties awaits the curious.
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“A guide for the beginner and a master class for the expert—a great harvest of wisdom.” —Roger B. Swain, author and former host of PBS’s The Victory Garden
Tom Burford, fifth-generation apple grower, shines the spotlight on a selection of impressive but often overlooked North American apples. The captivating photographs will transport you from American Beauty to York—and all the sugary, spicy, sprightly apples in between. You’ll learn about varieties brought back from the edge of extinction, the apple Tom calls “the beauty queen of the russet apple world,” and a fruit with skin so deeply red that it earned the name Arkansas Black.
Written with heartfelt enthusiasm, the diverse stories behind these apples are matched only by their range of shapes and colors, textures and flavors. The book goes below the surface too. Whether you are planting a backyard orchard, experimenting with grafting, or considering a batch of apple butter, the information in the orchard primer will get you started. This start-to-finish celebration of the apple is as important as it is lovely.
Tom Burford, “Professor Apple,” is a horticulturist, orchardist, and nurseryman. He is also a consultant specializing in the restoration, recreation, and design of orchards at historic sites and private estates, as well as backyard and commercial orchards. He is the coauthor of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s The Best Apples to Buy and Grow. Tom presents lectures, seminars, and workshops nationally, and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss heirloom apples.
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