Old Southern Apples: A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers, and Fruit Enthusiasts, 2nd Edition

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Chelsea Green Publishing, Jan 20, 2011 - Gardening - 384 pages
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A book that became an instant classic when it first appeared in 1995, Old Southern Apples is an indispensable reference for fruit lovers everywhere, especially those who live in the southern United States. Out of print for several years, this newly revised and expanded edition now features descriptions of some 1,800 apple varieties that either originated in the South or were widely grown there before 1928.

Author Lee Calhoun is one of the foremost figures in apple conservation in America. This masterwork reflects his knowledge and personal experience over more than thirty years, as he sought out and grew hundreds of classic apples, including both legendary varieties (like Nickajack and Magnum Bonum) and little-known ones (like Buff and Cullasaga). Representing our common orchard heritage, many of these apples are today at risk of disappearing from our national table.

Illustrated with more than 120 color images of classic apples from the National Agricultural Library’s collection of watercolor paintings, Old Southern Apples is a fascinating and beautiful reference and gift book. In addition to A-to-Z descriptions of apple varieties, both extant and extinct, Calhoun provides a brief history of apple culture in the South, and includes practical information on growing apples and on their traditional uses.

 

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Lee Calhoun has done it again in this new revised and expanded edition. He has not only added some apples that he and others have found that had been thought to be lost (extinct), but Lee and Edith went back to each description and have given us further details on each apple that he himself has grown in his own orchard. So there is another level of personal experience he is able to relate in this edition.
Thinking of the over 15,000 apples that originated in the South, the 1,800 or so descriptions of these is just a small fraction of what we once had available. And while the book is one of a kind regarding apple descriptions and origins, it is also a treasure trove of stories about some of the old farmers (most now gone) of the South who told their stories about these old apples to folk who hunt old apples, like Tom Brown and others.
Apple enthusiasts should ask their library to order this book. It could be a coffee table book but it's better suited as a reference. It is a much welcomed addition to this writer's library.
 

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About the author (2011)

Lee Calhoun lives in Chatham County, North Carolina, where he settled after a career in the military. Over the past three decades he has sought out many old-time Southern apples and has grown more than 550 varieties himself. For many years he operated, along with his wife, Edith, Calhoun Nursery, which was a key resource for rare and regional apple varieties.

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