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Chelsea Green Blog

He Keeps Ancient Apples Fresh and Crisp

Anne Raver of the New York Times wrote a feature article yesterday on Creighton Lee Calhoun, author of Old Southern Apples. Purchase the book at 25% off in our bookstore now!

Pittsboro, NC: On a cold sunny morning last month, Creighton Lee Calhoun Jr. stood in his orchard, surrounded by 300 heirloom apple trees, and took some cuttings, or scions, to graft onto rootstock for new trees.“You have to have new growth, something that grew last summer,” said Mr. Calhoun, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, pointing out the smooth reddish bark of a young shoot on an old West Virginia variety named Jugg.

He snipped it off with his sharp Felco pruners, cut the supple branch into 10-inch lengths (each with a few buds) and wrapped them with masking tape in a bundle marked “Jugg.”

“Old-timers would bury them under the leaves on the north side of the house,” said Mr. Calhoun, 77. “But I put mine in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.” When the danger of a hard freeze is past, these scions can be grafted onto young rootstock.

The practice is lost to most Americans, who think an apple is a Red Delicious, which tastes like white sugar, or a Granny Smith, often picked too green and stored so long it tastes like the bottom of the refrigerator drawer. “They’re strange-tasting, gummy, probably from long-term controlled storage,” said Mr. Calhoun, who would no more eat a supermarket apple than an old shoe. Mr. Calhoun is the author of a recently revised compendium of 1,800 antique apple varieties, called “Old Southern Apples.” He is also one of a cadre of collectors across the country who are passing on their own rare apples, through scions and grafted trees, to younger men and women starting nurseries or preservation orchards, or simply planting a few trees in the backyard.

Continue reading this article at the New York Times website. Learn more about Old Southern Apples by Creighton Lee Calhoun.


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

Recipe: How to Make a Simple No-Knead Einkorn Bread

If, like author Eli Rogosa,  you are allergic to modern wheat, it may be time to investigate baking with einkorn.Rogosa suffered miserably from bloating, malabsorption, and indigestion for many years. No doctor could help her, but when she removed wheat from her diet, the symptoms vanished. Her vitality returned with the added bonus of pounds […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More

Q&A with Michael Ableman: How Urban Farming Can Improve Society

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.Street Farm is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing […] Read More

Hop Grower’s Handbook Wins Silver for Garden Writing

We’re “hopping” for joy at Chelsea Green for authors Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring as they’ve been honored with a Silver Medal by GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators for their book The Hop Grower’s Handbook.Laura and Deitrich won the prestigious honor in the Writing category for a technical/reference book of greater than 120 […] Read More
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