Orchard Ethnography
Appletree
Description

Throughout Ann Arbor, there are feral apple trees, occupying roadway medians, dotting apartment complexes, and integrating into the landscaping of businesses. These trees are not the chance happening of a dropped seed; they are a domesticated product left over from the city’s agricultural past. While still having enough ‘worth’ to remain in the landscape today, the fruit from these trees is typically not accessed or used. These trees serve both as a memory of the orchards that used to occupy this land, and as a reminder of Michigan’s long-standing fruit producing industry.

This presentation will explore the local history of pomological agriculture through a small exhibit of objects from the Apple Heritage Museum of Huron Valley and through a local history-sharing workshop. The discussion will include a consideration of this resource in public spaces that goes unused, our connections with local agriculture in the past and present in Michigan, and an opportunity for participants to share their personal and family histories with regards to agriculture, cider mills, and orchards. Participants are encouraged to share their personal recipes, photographs, and stories, which will be archived into the Museum's collection.

Does your family have a gnarled old apple tree in the back yard? Do you look forward to fresh cider and donuts each fall at the local cider mill? Do you remember picking apples at local farms when you were a child? Come share your pomological experiences and apple recipes with the Apple Heritage Museum at the Ann Arbor Re-Skilling Festival.

Organizer
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J. AMADEUS SCOTT: J. Amadeaus Scott is a professional artist, and the curatorial director of the Apple Heritage Museum of Huron Valley. The AHM is a traveling museum with a permanent collection and changing exhibits that explores narratives and histories of Ann Arbor's complicated past and present through its orphan apple trees. Her artistic work integrates fibers, metals, audio, and historic photography as well as food to explore relationships between identity, heritage, and landscape in the Midwest through concentric circles of state, city, and home.

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