Milwaukee Heritage Apple Project - finding ways to bring diverse, place based, rare varieties of apples to our tables.
Recover Forgotten Fruit!
The Milwaukee Apple—just one of hundreds of endangered fruits that have disappeared from our plates and have been replaced by fewer than a dozen commercial varieties. Slow Food WiSE joins the handful of orchardists and chefs who are bringing antique apples back to our tables by adopting the Milwaukee Apple as one of several place-based varietals we’d like to save.
Milwaukee Heritage Apple Grow Out: Over 70 heritage apples have been planted in and around Milwaukee backyards and community gardens and farms by Slow Food WiSE members and friends. Our As of 2012, the Milwaukee Heritage Apple Grow Out includes not just the Milwaukee Apple, but also the Pewaukee, Oneida, Connel Red, Wolfe River, Bonnie Best, along with Ashmead’s Kernel and Autumn Beauty apple tree varietals.
Four Milwaukee varietal trees were planted in the Spring of 2010 by Slow Food WiSE volunteers at the Historic Stahl Conrad Homestead in Hale’s Corners, along with Pewaukee and Oneida Apple varieties. One Milwuakee Apple tree, located in the Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park fruit orchard, was planted by Slow Food WiSE along with a group of youth and volunteers in 2011. Many more trees are in home grower’s yards and several i local farms–as the trees grow and finally set fruit, we’ll update our community and arrange for tastings.
Milwaukee Apple Description:
This seedling apple varietal was found under a Duchess tree and then developed by George Jeffrey of Milwaukee, WI. It appeared in commerce around 1899. It’s tough but thin skin is greenish yellow and marbled, blushed with reds. Its yellowish white flesh is tender and with a pleasant tart, green apple flavor. The Milwaukee Apple is wonderful in pies, in cider, and good for most uses except as a fresh eating apple, unless sliced paper thin and paired with a Wisconsin cheese.
* Ripens: Sep, Oct
–Description adapted from the Renewing America’s Food Traditions Alliance, Forgotten Fruits of the Great Lakes Region Project
More on Apple Tree Care:
For those of you with heritage trees purchased last spring, find past tips on our blog.
You can help recover forgotten fruits!
Support Antique Apple Growers & Producers:
- Weston Antique Apples New Berlin, WI
- Brightonwoods Orchard Burlington, WI
- Appel Treow Winery Burlington, WI
- Maple Valley Orchards & Nursery Gillett, WI
Grow your own Antique Apple Trees:
- Weston’s Antique Apple’s Classes
- Wisconsin Apple Growers Association
- Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
- Eco Apple Project
- Midwest Fruit Explorers
- Maple Valley Orchards & Nursery
For more information about this, and other Food Biodiversity Projects in SE WI, please contact us.
Read about our Apple Project on the Slow Food USA Blog!