Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Apples on the Web: My Grandpap's Apple Orchard

John Henderson, a farmer and social-sciences librarian at Ithaca College (New York), shares three generations of apple lore and memories at My Grandpap's Apple Orchard.

This no-frills web site succeeds on several levels: as a catalog of apple descriptions, a collection of memories and stories, and an an impressive and well organized collection of links, categorized with a librarian's sensibility.

Henderson's farm includes both a small new orchard and "remnants from a much older apple orchard now part of a mixed deciduous woods." On a parallel web site he describes those apples in terms of physical and growing characteristics, and also ratings from various historical sources, meticulously documented.

Back at Grandpap's, the apple descriptions are layered, being Henderson's account not just of the apples in his grandfather's Pennsylvania orchard but also of what his grandfather and other family members thought of them. These are all as viewed though the lense of Henderson's father's memories, adding a patina of family tradition to these descriptions and stories.

Anyone lonesome for apples in the winter months could do worse than to graze here, or among the many interesting links.

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