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.
This wonderful reference will encourage you to seek out new flavors and to give the apple the respect it deserves. It may even inspire you to carve out the space for an orchard of your own.
Tom Burford, “Professor Apple,” is a horticulturist, orchardist, and nurseryman. He is also a consultant specializing in the restoration, re-creation, and design of orchards at historic sites and private estates, as well as backyard and commercial orchards. He is the author ofApples: A Catalog of International Varieties and 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. He lives in Lynchburg, VA.