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From Graft to Craft

Following in the steps of Thomas Jefferson

In 1769 Thomas Jefferson’s planted two rows of the grafted ‘Newtown Pippin’ trees at his historic estate Monticello, in Charlottesville. Jefferson wrote from Paris, ‘They have no apples here to compare to our Newtown Pippin.’

Last week at the Research Block in Henderson County we helped Marvin and his team finish planting 18 different Colonial, European, and Crab varieties of apple tree including some Newtown Pippins. The Mechanical Auger was not available to dig the holes, but it seemed fitting somehow that we should plant them the old fashioned way.

The varieties planted include: Ashmeads Kernel, Binet Rouge, Bulmers Norman, Calville Blanc, Centennial Crab, Chisel Jersey, Dabinett, Dolgo Crab, Frequin Rouge, Gilpin, Golden Russet, Harry Masters Jersey, Mettais, Newtown Pippin, Reinette Zabergau, Roxbury Russet, Wickson Crab, and Yarlington Mills.

In three years time these trees will give fruit, and we hope to discover new flavors that will excite your taste buds, just as much as they did Jefferson’s over 200 years ago! It’s quite a time to wait, but we are excited to explore the possibilities that these heritage and heirloom varieties may offer the research team at Noble Cider. We are really grateful for the support that Marvin and all at the Research Block are giving us with this research project.

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