Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

The real legacy of Johnny Appleseed

John Chapman could be described as a successful real estate speculator with a good understanding of how to increase your wealth through compound interest. He is also one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood figures in American history. His biggest contribution to life on the American frontier was to create a renewable supply of hard cider and “applejack”, the favorite liquors of the expanding American population of his time. He was a religious zealot, a wild-eyed Swedenborgian missionary with the flinty toughness of Daniel Boone and the gentleness of a Hindu. Oh, and by the way, he planted millions of apple trees from seed.

Later reinvented as the cartoonish “Johnny Appleseed”, John Chapman was a pioneer who made a huge impact on America’s frontier, particularly in Ohio. He started a chain of nurseries reaching from western Pennsylvania through central Ohio and into Indiana. With the canny shrewdness of a real estate developer, staying just ahead of the westward migration, Chapman planted nurseries near remote settlements. When he died in 1845, his estate included 22 properties totaling over 1200 acres of prime waterfront real estate.

To discourage speculation and encourage stability, land grant deeds in the Northwest Territory required homesteaders to plant apple and pear orchards. Grafted apple trees with edible fruit were already available in Ohio, but Chapman grew his from seed. Apples don’t sprout “true to type” from seed, so fruit from Chapman’s trees was mostly bitter, useful only for making hard cider, which could be distilled into applejack. Safer, tastier and much easier to make than wine or grain liquors, apple cider was the alcoholic drink of choice on the American frontier. In fact, there was little else to drink. In rural areas, cider replaced wine, beer, coffee, tea and even water.

Young apple trees were essential supplies for any settler headed for the frontier, and John Chapman offered two and three year old saplings for about six cents each. He had a sixth sense for where the next wave of development would be, and by the time the demand was there he had a well-located nursery in full production, run by a local manager. In addition to apples, Chapman introduced many medicinal herbs to Ohio, and also stinking fennel. This annoying weed was once believed to prevent malaria; today it’s commonly called “Johnnyweed” by Ohioans.

Johnny Appleseed’s legacy became a target during Prohibition, when Carrie Nation’s axe was used to chop down apple trees along with saloons. Because of their popularity and for religious reasons, hard cider and applejack enjoyed some immunity from the early prohibitionists, but by 1900 they were attacked along with wine, beer and grain spirits. Johnny’s legend was reinvented, his image sanitized for political correctness.

In his excellent book “The Botany of Desire,” author Michael Pollan explores the Johnny Appleseed legend in detail. He concludes that John Chapman was “the American Dionysus”. Where Dionysus brought civilization the gift of wine, Chapman offered easier access to the pleasures of alcohol. Pollan views both men as bridges between nature and culture, harnessing the magic of fermentation to create social change.

The take-home message for gardeners is that apple trees grown from seed will not produce the same fruit as the original apple. Only grafting will produce dependable offspring with the qualities of the parent apple tree.

Steve Boehme and his wife Marjorie own GoodSeed Nursery & Landscape, located at 9736 Tri-County Highway, near Winchester, Ohio. More information is available at www.goodseedfarm.com or call (937) 587-7021.

Growing apple trees from seed worked for Johnny Appleseed, but it won’t produce edible fruit for home orchardists. (Illustration by Marjorie Boehme)
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Johnny-Appleseed.jpgGrowing apple trees from seed worked for Johnny Appleseed, but it won’t produce edible fruit for home orchardists. (Illustration by Marjorie Boehme)

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