Thursday, January 14, 2010

Apples on the Web: Apple Journal

What do you say about incomplete labors of love?

On the one hand, the Apple Journal lives up to its wonderful motto, "A Passion for Apples."

On the other hand, where did that passion go? Work on this site apparently stopped--abruptly--in 2004.

There are many pleasures squirreled away behind the links this site serves up, but readers will probably find the following three collections to be the most immediately interesting and useful:
The 13 detailed, somewhat technical, descriptions are taken largely from the hundred-year-old Apples of New York, by S. A. Beach, presented with luminous photographs. This would be a magnificent project were it complete. Apples of New York is long out of print, but a searchable digitized copy is online (volumes I and II; my review is here).

The more-extensive short catalog also features variety photos that are both attractive and useful. The descriptions are original and, I'm guessing, based on direct experience. The index to this list of apples, not easy to find from the home page, is here.

To find such ambition unfulfilled gives me pause. Like All About Apples, which similarly petered out, the authors of the Apple Journal clearly intended to create the number one apple destination on the web.

Nonetheless, these efforts leave us with information that is useful, interesting, and fun. That's all any of us can shoot for, in the long run.

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