Apples of North America: Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooksby Tom Burford
The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, traditionally picked on cool fall days and used in pies, crisps, and ciders. And there is a vast world of varieties that goes beyond the common grocery store offerings of Red Delicious and Granny Smith. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavors ranging from sweet to tart, this… See more details below
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The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, traditionally picked on cool fall days and used in pies, crisps, and ciders. And there is a vast world of varieties that goes beyond the common grocery store offerings of Red Delicious and Granny Smith. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavors ranging from sweet to tart, this treasure trove of unique apples is ripe for discovery.
There is no better guide through this tasty world than Tom Burford, whose family has grown apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1715. The book is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. As the view broadens to the orchard, you will find information on planting, pruning, grafting, and more. The exploration of the apple culminates with an overview of the fruit’s transformative capabilities when pressed, fermented, cooked, or dried.
This wonderful reference will encourage you to seek out new flavors and to give the apple the respect it deserves. It may even inspire you to carve out the space for an orchard of your own.
Orchardist, nurseryman, and apple expert Burford (Apples: A Catalog of International Varieties) here shares dozens of varieties of heirloom and modern apples to eat and/or grow, although he says that his book is aimed primarily at the consumer. In the first section, "Apple Varieties A to Z," each one-page entry includes a brief description of the apple; its other common names; its historical interest; its look, flavor, aroma, etc.; characteristics of the tree; disease resistance; ripening season; uses; and storage quality. Each apple is illustrated with a beautiful color photograph. Burford then offers an overview of planning and designing an orchard, including variety and rootstock selection, followed by cultural information. He then presents brief sections on pest and disease descriptions, harvesting, storing, and propagation by grafting. Next, Burford covers uses of apples, from cider to drying. He concludes with his recommendations for the best apple varieties for specific purposes or conditions. VERDICT A lovely, browsable work for apple enthusiasts. For the gardener not aiming to plant an orchard, Burford leaves out some basics; beginning apple growers will be better served by Alan Buckingham's Grow Fruit or Lewis Hill and Leonard Perry's The Fruit Gardener's Bible: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruits and Nuts in the Home Garden.—Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL
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Exploration of the Little-Known World of Apples Written by a renowned apple expert, Apples of North America is the quintessential reference book this iconic fruit. Detailing nearly 200 varieties of apples, Tom Burford explains the uses, history, tree, season of ripening, taste, and any other distinguishing characteristics of each type. He also covers how to plant, prune, and graft your own apples for the ambitious reader. Not only is this book a treasury of information, but it is also fun to browse as it is visually appealing and includes a photo of each apple variety (some of the heirlooms are absolutely breathtaking) . From this book, I have gained a new-found respect for apples and have begun trying flavors outside the grocery-store regulars. If you love apples, or fruit in general, this book belongs in your library.Another great that I recommend for fruit enthusiasts is Fruits of Warm Climates by Julia Morton.