Heirloom Apples

In this podcast Nina Prater, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has a conversation with her NCAT colleague Guy Ames, horticulture specialist and owner-operator of Ames Orchard and Nursery in Elkins, Arkansas. Guy has been farming in Arkansas since 1971, but became interested in heirloom apples in 1980.

In this episode, discover things you might not have known, such as, what qualifies as an heirloom. What’s in a name? How do you decide what variety to grow? Guy and Nina also talks about the history of heirloom apples, some pros and cons, and the role heirloom apples can play in today’s market and environment.

For more information on this topic, you can contact Guy Ames directly at guya@ncat.org.

ATTRA Resources:

Apples: Organic Production Guide (in this ATTRA publication, Appendix 1, “Disease Resistant Apple Varieties,” is a chart showing the relative disease resistance of more than 100 apple varieties, many of them “heirlooms.”)

Other Resources:

North American Fruit Explorers

Changes in the Land, book by William Cronon

Old Southern Apples, book by Creighton Lee Calhoun

The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada

Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 1-800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from farm planning to pest management, from produce to livestock, and soils to aquaculture.

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