Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Apple Intermezzo: Adopt a Macintosh

Note: This post is not about Apple Macintosh computers, but about just Apples. An Englishman in Normandy is trying to preserve apple varieties which have become rare. He needs local and international help. There is a list of apple trees for adoption on his web-site, and last time I looked there was a Macintosh tree - the variety after which the first personal computer was named.

The project logo on the right had white background. For use on the coloured background in my magazine I removed the background with Instant Alpha. Read more about the uses of Instant Alpha here.

Saving the cider apple

Henry May is on a mission - to save cider apples. Hundreds of varieties have been lost forever in England and in France and the threat to them is continuing, he says. Having launched the the Tidnor Wood Orchards CIC (Community Interest Company) in the UK where over 400 UK, Irish and Channel Island varieties are already preserved in the Museum Orchard, May now hopes to create a similar enterprise in Normandy:

“France is the mother of cider apples and England her daughter. Many French varieties are commonplace in England either under their own names or an anglicised version. It seemed natural for us to decide to protect French varieties and where better than in their own environment?

A chance trip to southern Calvados ended with us being captivated by, and buying, ten acres - Les Vergers Tallevende - of stunning hogsback close to Lac Dathée near Vire.

Our vision is to protect English and French cider apple varieties in perpetuity; not as cordons or bush trees but in proper picnic orchards, half standards. We are setting up a 4.5 acre French Orchard at Tidnor and have a tricolour waiting to take its place on our flag staff.
And we have now planted the first tranche of trees in Les Vergers Tallevende and have a whole lot more for this coming season.

However, in England, where Tidnor Wood Orchards CIC is certified organic and recognised as a National Collection® (NCCPG), we pride ourselves on being self-sustaining; we do not seek or accept grants or any form of public money. Instead, we sell our apples to a cider maker and survive on the income.

But we have to find a different model for our French aspirations - at least in the short and medium terms. We need help and inspiration from local people to realise our ambition of twinning the world’s two principal cider nations and seeing the tricolour flying at Tidnor and the Jack at Tallevende.

If you - English and French Viroises - want to join us setting up the French organisation we would be delighted to hear from you at
Cider apples need you. A bientôt.”

Read a delicious apple recipe, quick to cook and filling, here.

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