How to Phenotypically Describe an Apple

Date & Time: Friday, November 19, 3:30-4:45 PM

Speaker: John Bunker

Acute or acuminate? abrupt or obtuse? furrowed or funnel-shaped? What does all this stuff mean? If we are going to get to know the fruit we eat, grow, grind and press, we ought to know the “phenotypic” parts.  If we are going to sort out the apple mysteries in our lives, we better know how to describe an apple. Modern DNA SNP technology has revolutionized apple identification. But DNA profiles are only as good as the phenotypic descriptions and identifications that are essential to creating the reference panel to which our apples are compared.  In this session we will do a deep dive into the details of creating an accurate description of an apple. Knowing a base from a basin and axile from abaxile will open the door to the amazing world of describing the apples in your life as well as to understanding what you’re reading in Beach, Bussey or Downing.  All attendees will be provided with apples, knives and the occasional band-aid.

Biodynamic Orcharding Workshop

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 10:00-11:15 AM

Speaker: Mike Biltonen

Have you ever walked in an orchard and felt everything was “just right,” that there was an energy where you sensed the life? It’s likely that biodynamic practices were at work. In this session, we will walk through a season in an apple orchard relating typical orchard activities with seasonal rhythms and biodynamic practices. We’ll follow a year in an orchard from winter pruning to bloom and then through harvest where we begin the cosmic cycle again. Each of an apple trees’ growth stages – critical physiological developmental periods in its annual journey – require special understanding, stewardship, and attention that are enhanced through the use of biodynamics practices. We will discuss the use of each of the biodynamic preparations, the special role of silica, tree paste, and even pest peppers in relation to the biological realities and real-world situations every orchardist eventually encounters.

Apple Sourcing: Growing and Working with Apple Growers

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 10:30-11:45 AM

Moderator: Steve Selin

Speakers: Caitlin Braam, Andrew Byers, Randy Kiyokawa, David Glaize

Quality fruit is the primary requirement to produce a quality cider. Having control over your source of fruit is a necessity in order to reliably produce quality cider year after year. This session will discuss nuances of working with fruit growers big and small. Also considerations from contracting with growers to planting your own orchard will be discussed.

Foraged Fruit Project: A Discussion of Discovery

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 1:45-3:00 PM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Scott Ramsey

Speakers: Greg Peck, Maria Kennedy, Steve Selin, Kim Hamblin

Cider producers in many parts of the country are foraging apples to use in their commercial products. Some producers do this as an inexpensive way to obtain apples, others are finding unique quality attributes from the foraged fruit, and still others believe that foraging is a way to discover climate resilient genotypes that can be propagated and grown in orchard settings. In this panel discussion, Cornell and Rutgers scientists will share results from a project that interviewed dozens of producers in the Northeastern US about their foraging practices, and then chemically analyzed the foraged fruit, as well as genotyped the trees to learn about the pedigree of the trees. Commercial cider producers will be on the panel to share their stories, as well as their ciders made from foraged apples. Attendees will learn about the scale and scope of foraging, the reasons why producers are foraging, and the quality of cider made from foraged fruit.