Apples of New England: A User’s Guide, a new book by Russell Steven Powell, will be published by The Countryman Press in September. Photographs are by Bar Lois Weeks.
The volume features color photographs and descriptions of more than 200 apple varieties grown, sold, or discovered in New England, plus a history of apple growing in the region spanning nearly four centuries, including a chapter about the contemporary orchard. In addition to extensive research, Powell interviewed senior and retired growers and leading industry figures from all six New England states, and obtained samples of many rare varieties at the preservation orchard maintained by the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts.
A chapter on John Chapman (“Johnny Appleseed”), for the first time links him with another Massachusetts native, Henry David Thoreau, as the fathers of American wild apples, Chapman for planting them, Thoreau with his pen.
Apples of New England is intended for use by all apple lovers, whether they are visiting the orchard, farm stand, grocery store, an abandoned field or a back yard — or in the kitchen. The descriptions include detailed information on each apple’s flavor and texture, ripening season, and best uses, as well as age, parentage, place of origin, and unusual histories.
Powell has written about apples since joining the New England Apple Association in 1996, and in 2012 published America’s Apple, a comprehensive book about apple growing in the United States, soon to be available in paperback.
Apples of New England, which lists at $19.95, will be officially available September 8, but is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
Vermont’s oldest name in publishing, The Countryman Press began in Taftsville, Vermont, in 1973, and in 1996 became a division of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. The Countryman Press retains editorial and production offices in Woodstock, Vermont.
Powell will be reading/signing/selling Apples of New England at a number of events this fall. Here is the current lineup:
Keep Museum, Monson, Massachusetts, Sunday, September 7, 1:30 p.m.
Massachusetts Building, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Massachusetts, Friday, September 12, through Sunday, September 28, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, Wales, Massachusetts, Saturday, October 4, at 1 p.m.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Massachusetts, Sunday, October 5, 12:30 p.m.
Mount Wachusett AppleFest, Saturday, October 18, 10 a.m.