Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Southern Heirloom Apple Tree Planting Project

The 20th Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens & Landscapes was especially wonderful in remembering Flora Ann Bynum and all she meant to landscape restoration in Old Salem. Her mission was the whole landscape, including gardens, meadows, fields, historic fencing styles, native trees and shrubs and, of course, fruit trees.

At this year's conference, the Southern Heir- loom Apple Tree Planting Project was featured. This initiative of Beta Verde (Margaret Norfleet Neff and Salem Neff -- the creators of the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market) was inspired by C. Lee Calhoun, author of Old Southern Apples, and Slow Food's Ark of Taste. Through the project, Beta Verde seeks to revive cultural heritage and regional diversity by en- couraging the growing of heirloom apple trees on public and private land, such as colleges and universities, organizations, neighborhoods, and farms.

The inaugural planting was in Reynolda Gardens last year, with the second planting (photo above) two weeks ago in Old Salem during the conference. Two trees sourced from Horne Creek Farm were planted by conference atten- dees on the Reuter/Vogler lot at the corner of West and Salt Streets: the Magnum Bonum apple tree originated in 1828 in Davidson County and is sometimes called the "king of all fall apples," and the Aunt Rachel is a little known tree from Chatham County, North Caro- lina, that Mr. Calhoun has promoted as a fast growing, disease resistant tree producing a delicious summer apple.

A third tree will be dug from Century Farm Orchards in Rockingham County for a Novem- ber planting to complete the addition of fruit trees to the lot!

—Contributed by Martha Hartley 
The Longrifle
A Newsletter for staff and residents at Old Salem Museums & Gardens


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