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This retired engineer has saved over 1,200 varieties of apples from extinction
by Madeleine Muzdakis

My Modern Met    Translate This Article
16 August 2021

On 16 August 2021 My Modern Met reported: Tom Brown -- an engineer who grew up in rural North Carolina -- stumbled upon his retirement passion project in 1998 at a farmer's market. Brown was introduced to several heritage apples -- varieties of the fruit which were standardized in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inspired to learn more, Brown began to learn from experienced orchardists how to cut, cultivate, and graft apple trees. For the past 20 years, he has dedicated his time and effort to hunting down rare and lost heritage apples across the east coast. To date, he has rediscovered over 1,200 varieties of historic apples. Global Good News service views this news as a sign of rising positivity in the fields of environment and science, documenting the growth of life-supporting, evolutionary trends.

Appalachia has a long history of apple orchards. ... The number of apple types in this region have likely numbered over 14,000 across the United States by 1905. ... According to Atlas Obscura, by the late 20th century, only 100 apple types were grown commercially. ... As a result, thousands of varietals seemingly vanished from the palate of the nation. Brown refers to these varietals as 'Lost Heritage Apples,' apples which have not been documented or clearly known since about 1930.

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