There’s an interesting hypothetical underneath this. Suppose you were given free reign to reforest an island long-bereft of trees. What would you fill it with? Would to add any non-edibles at all, and if so, why?
(Feel free to pick your favorite climate conditions.)
I would fill it with apples and plums, and I definitely would do silver birch, maples and spruce for beauty.
I love the wind in a spruce tree, I could live in a little cabin tucked in a spruce grove. I tell my kids that they can stick me in one when I am old. Only make sure I have a quad and a skidoo to get out once in a while, OH!, and don’t forget my paints. LOL
I was looking for some information about a particular Plum and ran across this website.Apparently,they printed out a good part of,if not all of the book,The Fruit Manual,by Robert Hogg,dated 1860
There are hundreds of descriptions for different fruits,most I haven’t heard of. Brady
Here’s a good one from the NY Times about the spotted lanternfly.
“Lanternflies are believed to use at least forty species of native plants in the United States as hosts. They are particularly fond of grapevines, apple and stone fruit trees as well as a number of hardwood trees, like black walnut and maple.”
Stumbled across this article about Robert Nitschke, Theo Grootendorst, and Southmeadow Fruit Gardens. As Olpea points out below, the article itself is thirty years old, and I understand that the business has had problems in recent years. Still, I found this to be a good read about some of the people who preserved and passed down the heirloom fruit that many of us are interested in.
It’s all interesting to me. The article was from 1989.
Southmeadow has a long history. I remember reading Southmeadow was a decent nursery from old sources. Then about 10-15 years ago people on the Nafex fruit forum nary had a good word to say about the nursery.
Amazingly the nursery still looks like they are in business, although the ratings aren’t necessarily good.
Good catch on the publication date, Olpea. I could tell it wasn’t current but didn’t realize it was that old. Important to make that point and I’ll edit to reflect it.
Burford’s book on the apples of North America cites Nitschke’s respectfully several times, which gives me the sense that he knew his stuff. And the guy also seems to have had a way with words: in addition to being a notable source or transmitter of many heirlooms scions, he seems to have been the source for a number of the variety descriptions that get endlessly grafted from catalog to catalog.
As you say, though, the Dave’s Garden ratings give cause for concern about how things have been going more recently.
Based on the couple of variety descriptions cited in the article, Nitschke himself borrowed heavily from authors of the past. For example, his description of Api (Lady Apple) closely follows that by Hogg. Compare:
Hogg: Fruit, small, oblate. Skin, thick, smooth, and shining, yellowish green in the shade, changing to pale yellow as it attains maturity, and deep glossy red, approaching to crimson, on the side next the sun. Flesh, white, crisp, tender, sweet, very juicy, and slightly perfumed. A beautiful little dessert apple in use from October to April. It should be eaten with the skin on, as it is there that the perfume is contained.
Nitschke: This exquisitely beautiful little dessert apple delights the eye as much as the palate. Small, flattish in shape, its shiny skin ranges from creamy yellow in the shade to a deep glossy crimson on the side next to the sun. Its flesh is tender, white, crisp, very juicy, refreshing and slightly perfumed, with the best of the flavor in the skin which should always be eaten.
Thank you for pointing that out! I need to read up on my Hogg, I guess. To be fair to Nitschke, he did adapt what he borrowed more than some people do, and while in this instance I find Hogg’s style more elegant overall, I do think there are places here where Nitschke punched it up a bit. Whether you attribute his opening sentence to the connoisseur’s enthusiasm or the salesman’s promotional instinct is another question, I guess…
The Southmeadow catalog is an interesting read, the online one only gets halfway through the apples. Some of the descriptions are indeed cribbed but there is also plenty of original commentary. I scanned it in during the depths of some past winter… southmeadow.pdf (57.3 MB)
I have read that link before Actually searched here to see if there was any discussions on it,
and your post is actually my Birthday 5/19 (on the cusp)
Anyways I am looking through Old Grapes from the
Ohio Pomological Society articles found on that site …
Actually just Learned that (spelling) Herbemont grape is actually a synonyms of Le noir or Black Spanish recently even listed as herbemont still quoted on sites today
, and I really Like Black Spanish wine
so I need to make sure what these names are named today …’
still nice to read old descriptions of what people thought
maybe find some older cultivars without all the marketing.
Speaking of which reading online or in General Good to take a break every now, and again
your eyes are Muscles and should adjust so you do not ruin them
also Plain to try to get a e reader with no back screen
I bought two used I have to get on with getting it set up.
I have some other stories like how
Dates came to America, etc,
but they are short reads online.