By: CL Calhoun
326 pages, 48 col plates, b/w illus, maps
Old Southern Apples is a delightful and definitive review of the history and uses of apples in the South from Maryland to Texas and from Florida to Arkansas. Although apples became a major commercial crop in parts of the South in the late 1800s, for 300 years southern farm families grew them as an important, year-round food source. Through the selection and grafting of wild seedlings, southerners developed unique apple varieties adapted to the climate and soils of the South and suited to specific uses such as cider and apple butter. In fact, more than 1,300 apple varieties originated in the South, and another 300 varieties of northern and European origin were grown there. Old Southern Apples opens with an overview of apple history, culture, and uses in the agrarian South. This is followed by an exhaustive compilation of apple varieties grown before 1928. The more than 1,600 varieties are divided into extant and extinct groups, accompanied by a wealth of horticultural and historical facts about each apple. The book also includes a bibliography, a description of nurseries that sell old southern apple varieties, and an index of more than 3,600 apple names and synonyms. Forty-eight color reproductions of USDA paintings from the 1880-1930 period illustrate important apple varieties, while vintage engravings depict cultivation and propagation practices in the South.
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