Thursday, April 23, 2015

Restoring lost apples....

I find this story to be incredibly cool, incredibly sad and incredibly awesome at the same time.

If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, basically a guy back in 1888 planted apple trees on his land in places where he couldn't grow wheat. But he made a mistake... he planted a whole bunch of different varieties instead of focusing on the types that would sell. By 1899 he'd lost the farm and left the area. But the trees remained, abandoned.

More than a century later, sleuths looking for extinct apple varieties found his trees, many of them still alive, and realized the apples might be some of the missing types. At least one, the Nero, has been found in that orchard. The sleuths have taken cuttings from the trees in the hopes of reviving the lost flavors.

The Nero apple, rediscovered in an abandoned orchard more than 100 years later.

It's cool because it's a tale that delves into local history to find something that is truly in plain sight, but missing. It's sad because the poor guy lost his farm and yet left this incredible legacy that he never would know about. It's awesome because, science! And agriculture. And intelligence. It's just a neat all-around tale.