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The Apple Orchard: The Story of Our Most English Fruit

av Pete Brown

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233810,802 (3.67)Ingen/inga
Through the seasons in England's apple-growing heartlands, Pete Brown uncovers the magic and folklore of our most familiar fruit, showing its place at the heart of our lives.
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Written in a friendly, journalistic style a guide to apples and orchards. Well a guide to English apples and orchards anyway. Enjoyable, personal and by no means comprehensive, scientific or horticultural. A sociology of apples is a more likely description. |You get to know the author as much as you get to know about apples, but that's no bad thing. ( )
  Steve38 | Oct 11, 2020 |
A few years ago I remember someone who lived in an Orchard Close frequently having to explain to people what an orchard actually was. For those of you still unsure, Pete Brown has titled this book to give you a subtle clue. These glorious pieces of landscape have been created by man for hundreds of years and are that bridge between the completely wild and the tamed garden. In these beautiful creations, you will find all sorts of wonderful things, cherries, pears, cobnuts, but most frequently, the apple.

Taking us through all of the stages in the year to bring the apple tree to fruit we will learn about cold units, grafting, why you cannot plant just one apple variety and he even has a go at harvesting. His journey starts with a slice of fresh apple, and very nearly ends there when he realises that he is allergic to them! Thankfully he is not allergic to cider… His journey takes him far and wide starting with the Pagan festival of Beltane, he meets morris men, Kingston Black, scientists, wassailers, makes a pilgrimage to the home of the Bramley, joins in with an Apple Day, helps make cider and meets yet more morris men.

It all started when he was researching about cider and realised that he had made more notes about the places where the apple was grown than he had about the cider. The seeds that were sown there, lead to this superb book on the delight of that most English of places, the orchard being written. He is a great author, up until now I have only come across him on Radio 4, but this book is witty, whilst staying interesting and rigorous all the way through. Sadly, orchards have been on the decline, something that he intends to change by writing this book, with the hope that communities celebrate these places for what they are. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Pete Brown is well known as a beer writer (at least among homebrewers), but for this book he tackled apples. Brown is actually allergic to fresh apples, which adds an interesting (if odd) touch to this book.

I found this book very interesting, but--and note the subtitle above--this book is about England. Sure the US and NZ both get mentioned tangentially, but this is about England. English orchards, English festivals, English varieties, English cider, English funding, English apple research, and so on and so forth.

I definitely learned a lot--but honestly, most of what I learned about involved English customs that I knew nothing about. There are also well-known varieties in England that I (in California) have never heard of. IMO this book could really use some color plates and maps to better illustrate the places and apples he is talking about--this book was purchased in the US and has the dollar price printed on the cover (update: husband actually purchased from Amazon UK, but the $ price is printed on the flap). I do realize the original English target audience might not need maps and plates, but ti would be nice for the secondary audiences they are marketing to!

And now I want to go apple picking and cider drinking in Somerset. ( )
  Dreesie | Jul 15, 2018 |
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Through the seasons in England's apple-growing heartlands, Pete Brown uncovers the magic and folklore of our most familiar fruit, showing its place at the heart of our lives.

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