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July 7, 2008

Saving Heirloom Apples

This is a topic I find myself talking about a lot here. Not that heirloom apples are particularly more worth saving than, say, heirloom pears, or strawberries (in fact, strawberry varieties are a lot more prone to going extinct), but mostly because people write a lot more about them.

Prince of Wales saves British apple breeds (The Telegraph)

(Doesn't it seem like I'm finding lots of articles on the Telegraph website lately?)

If you recall, not that long I go I was commending Daughter of the Soil for her act to save the 'Tewksbury Baron', and I have to say it's nice to see some rich and powerful people with more resources at their disposal taking a similar action on a grander scale (I'm less excited about all the nonsense with the Brogdale collection that led to this, but that's another story).

Of course, the Prince of Wales (who, as a child, I briefly thought might be a whale himself) is the most prominent of those preserving these, but there are others, including the Co-operative Farm at Tillington. While the idea of throwing them all together and juicing them (which apears to be their plan) seems like a tremendous waste of all that diversity, I'm glad to see some one getting some economic good out of them I suppose, and if that's enough to justify preserving them, then I'm happy to have them do whatever they want to do.

Frankly, I'd link to these article just for the apple names alone:

Bloody Ploughman

Faerie Queen

Peasgood Nonsuch

Ducksbill

Greasy Pippin

Ashmead's Kernel (yeah, I know it's better known, but it's still a cool name)

Forty Shilling*

Great Expectations*


*These last two aren't in the linked articles above, but are in yet another version, here.

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