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John Bunker and His Wanted Posters

 

‘WANTED’ poster for Pickman apple

John Bunker, heritage apple expert, and author, distributes WANTED posters for the old apples he is searching for. He gives a pretty full description of the apple’s appearance from size, shape, color of skin, color of flesh, stem size, and seeds. I’ve learned some new words like Acuminate which refers to the tapering shape of the seed cavity. I don’t know what the ‘eye’ of the apple is. I know the opposite of the stem end is called the ‘basin,’ and has its own characteristic: shallow, deep, wide, wrinkled. So many things to  consider.

John Bunker writes the FEDCO TREES catalog and the 2013 edition is ready. It is full of information and ordering directions for hardy fruit trees, small fruits and berries, other tress, shrubs, roots(like asparagus) and vines. There is even a small selection of tender bulbs and perennials and heraceous medicinals.  Needless to say I was happy to see the availability of hardy roses like Morden Fireglow that blooms into October and is hardy to Zone 2. “Information suitable for browsing and entertainment.” I can attest to that.

Apple seed cavities

In his book, Not Far From the Tree, John Bunker has drawings that illustrate the different formations of the seed cavity. I cut three of my apples in half to see what differences the Hudson Gem Russet, Northern Spy and Macoun had. Not much. The Tolman Sweet has a very tiny seed cavity. These differences can also be used to help identify and apple variety. When I was a young child my father would cut apples in half around the ‘equator’ so that we could see that all the stars were not in the sky.

 

3 comments to John Bunker and His Wanted Posters

  • “When I was a young child my father would cut apples in half around the ‘equator’ so that we could see that all the stars were not in the sky.” What a wonderful memory!

    I wish that someone here in the middle of the country would round up all the heritage fruit varieties and start redistributing them/teaching about them. This is such a challenging environment that it would be a great help to know which ones have the best chance of succeeding on the prairie.

  • Pat

    Gaia – My father was an amateur astronamer and knew a lot about stars – in the sky and elsewhere. The Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm in Iowa has an orchard Farm with many old apples. Check it out.

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