Saturday, January 23, 2010

Apple TV

Though somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright, it's gray winter where I live. A good time to throw a log on the fire and curl up with, um, informative internet videos about apples. Really.

I first stumbled onto one of these at Apples and Oranges, where Kevin Hauser, the blogger/nurseryman-in-chief, had made this video about bud grafting.

The video is hosted at Kevin's YouTube channel with other apple videos. It's one of my favorites, making good use of the medium to show, in four action-packed minutes, how you make an apple tree by grafting budwood onto rootstock using nothing but a utility knife, a pair of clippers, and some tape. (Any tape, according to Kevin.)

I didn't know how this worked. Do you? There's even theme music.

The link above lists all of Kevin's video catalog in the sidebar. Check out the cider press.

Another video source for serious growers (and fellow travelers like me) is the collection produced by John Clements of the UMass Fruit Advisor, part of the agricultural extension service that is based at the university's Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown (Mass.).

These short videos are on the technical side and have a bracing no-nonsense quality to them. I like John's descriptions of new apple varieties, such as this four and a half minutes about Silken and Lindamac, shot outdoors next to the trees in question. These and other clips, like this video on fire blight, let us see apples the way farmers do: as crops.

Oh, and there's different theme music.

There are hundreds of these videos, as John has been on the case for years, but they are not all in one place. About fifty of them are currently at John's YouTube page, but there are more archived at the web page for the service. Unfortunately they are not indexed or categorized and not all have titles that are helpfully descriptive.

Bring out the popcorn!


  1. Thanks Adam. As you may know we ship apples to the tropics of Africa, where they've never seen an apple tree much less know about apple culture (thus the metric measurements and not mentioning "winter" or "summer", as their life is regulated by the short rains and long rains). I've included written directions with orders, but many folks are still uncomfortable with the processes. But even out in the remote bush bush it is not uncommon to have internet access which allows them to see these videos, and they've given them a gleeful "thumbs up". I'll be making more as the season progresses.

  2. I am not exactly the target audience for any of Kevin's videos, but they are well made and fun to watch.


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