Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy”

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)

http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Boehme-sig1.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved