You’ve heard of Johnny Appleseed, now learn about a new slant on the old legend. The Union County Museum will hold its Third Tuesday event September 21, beginning at 7 p.m. The guest speaker is David Benscoter, founder of The Lost Apple Project, who will talk about the historical importance of apples in the region and how the Project has located several species once thought extinct.
The Lost Apple Project has partnered with the Whitman County Historical Society in Washington and the Temperate Orchard Conservancy in Oregon to investigate, identify and preserve heritage apple trees and orchards in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The Project has recovered 29 apple varieties that were thought to have disappeared, including a recent find at Flora, Oregon. These heritage varieties are possibly more resistant to pests and can be used to enhance modern varieties.
“I recently uncovered an old 1896 nursery catalog from Union’s Eastern Oregon Nursery, containing rare or possibly lost varieties,” said Benscoter. He noted that an important purpose of the lecture is to educate people about heritage apples and inspire them to nurse their apples trees through the drought to preserve their future. “You may have a lost or rare variety in your own back yard!”
Benscoter lives north of Spokane and travels throughout the Pacific Northwest in his search for heritage apples. He will highlight the importance of apples to homesteaders as a source of food and apple cider vinegar.
The event will be held in the Little White Church, next to City Hall in Union. In recent years, the Third Tuesday was held three times each summer, featuring a wide range of topics by local presenters and musicians. The event lasts an hour and admission is free.