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Preserving Precious Heirlooms
Maine pomologist John Bunker is passionate about apples -- and preserving hundreds of heirloom varieties.
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How Do You Like Them?
Nutting Bumpuses, Wolf Rivers, or Newt Grindles? A low-tech grid keeps track of each rare heirloom variety as it's harvested.
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Road to the Past
Super Chilly Farm is a preservation orchard with more than 200 varieties of apples.
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"Fish are on the coast, blueberries in the barrens, cranberries in the bogs, but apples are everywhere," says John Bunker. "They bring people together."
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In the Bag
From the end of August through October, CSA shareholders get a biweekly bag of apples, with recipes and a brief historical "biography" of each variety.
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Bunker is just as likely to be seen harvesting as any of his apprentices.
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Fruits of Their Labor
The orchard calls on its New England neighbors to locate old varieties and seeks scion donations for grafting.
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Fruit of Knowledge
John Bunker has spent countless hours climbing trees and collecting, storing, and cooking the fruit.
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Bunker relies on vintage texts to identify and piece together the history of the hundreds of antique apples he grows.
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Apple cider can be boiled down to molasses or fermented into vinegar or hard cider.
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Cooling Their Peels
A half-dozen varieties await what is arguably an apple's highest calling: being baked in a pie.
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Beauty is more than skin deep, especially with organic heirloom apples, which tend to grow in odd shapes and sizes.Read More About John Bunker's Preservation Efforts
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