Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine, 1804-2004 Bookby John Bunker, 200 pages, 8½ x 11, softcover. John reveals how he came to know so much about apples—he spent years talking to his neighbors in Palermo, listening to their stories and walking their fields and orchards learning the varieties, how they came to be planted there and why.
His engaging narrative and entertaining and informative drawings take us into the rich diverse past of a seemingly unremarkable town. A wonderful lesson in the history of Maine agriculture told in the apple trees. Many long abandoned and all but forgotten, some nursed back to health, and some finding new life as scionwood that begets generations of apple trees from Fedco. John is a colleague and a friend and I confess that I am not a disinterested reviewer. I even have a tiny part in his story—I taught him how to make an apple pie. John’s love of apples and affection for his neighbors and town speak clearly through each page. Copiously illustrated in John’s unmistakable style. -David Shipman
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