Archive for November 6, 2009
Michael Pollan’s breakout book (and PBS special) Botany of Desire starts with the saga of the apple. He calls the apple as important as the axe and the plow to the pioneers.
They were not valued as a sweet, crunchy snack but as liquid refreshment. Apples were the easiest source of alcohol available in the new world. Pollan calls Johnny Appleseed Dionysus’s American son.
John Chapman carried canoe-fulls of apple seed into the wilderness, leaving a trail of tree nurseries along the paths he expected settlers to follow. He sold the seedlings to settlers when they arrived, and they were grateful to have a jump-start on the orchard that was integral to every farm. (more…)