Search for an “extinct” apple

On a crisp December afternoon, as the sun slowly fell behind the nearby Sawatch Range, Addie and Jude Schuenemeyer stared at a nearly dead tree, a few apples dangling off its last living branch.

“In that moment, I felt hope,” recalls Addie.

But was this moment when the sun finally set on their nearly 20-year hunt for something many long believed was extinct?…

“We’ve documented over 400 varieties of apples historically grown in Colorado, 50% are now considered lost,” says Addie. “The Colorado Orange was one of these.”…

But, they never gave up. This is what they found.

5 thoughts on “Search for an “extinct” apple

  1. Monoculture says:
  2. cheriewhite says:

    I saw this on the news and I thought, Wow! I remember eating an orange apple when I was little (the seventies) but I never knew they were thought to be extinct. I just knew I hadn’t seen them in years and always assumed it was because we weren’t living in the appropriate area anymore (I was a military brat and lived in a totally different climate when I ate the apple).

  3. Furthur says:

    “A legacy New Mexico apple orchard made a brief, but busy, return to Albuquerque for a two-day sale of their famous Champagne Apples and cider.”
    “Now based in Wisconsin, the legendary Dixon’s Apple Orchard brought a truckload of its famous apples and cases of cider to Albuquerque on Sunday, October 11-12.
    The orchard originally opened in 1944 near the Cochiti Pueblo, north of Albuquerque. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people bought apples from the farm, which became well-known for its champagne apples.
    In 2011, the Las Conchas fire burned part of the farm. The wildfire led to flooding, which eventually forced the business to close.
    Over the last nine years, the orchard has found a new home in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley. About five years ago, Mullane planted the next generation of apple trees from cuttings of the original New Mexico trees.”
    See also “Dixon’s Apple Orchard dispute resolved; former operators get $2 million” (2014)

  4. p/s says:

    The orchardist rescuing fruit trees in New Mexico : Once-diverse apple varieties are declining. Gordon Tooley wants to save them before they are gone.
    Santa Fe photographer Esha Chiocchio spent 2020 documenting Gordon Tooley’s work on his orchard in Truchas, a project recently featured in High Country News. Tooley moved to Truchas in 1991 and discovered half of what had once been 14,000 different variety of apples had been lost. He and his wife now rescue varieties from across the Southwest and cultivate them in their orchard on their 15-acre farm. “I can’t think of very many species that can afford to lose half of their genus,” Tooley tells High Country News. Chiocchio was drawn to the project in large part due to the regenerative agriculture component Tooley applies. “When I look at all the different climate solutions,” she says, “I keep coming back to regenerative agriculture as not only a solution for climate, but for land and food issues.”
    Tooley’s Trees, Truchas, New Mexico

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