Ann Arbor’s Orphan Apples and Applesauce Making

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 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 an applesauce making workshop. The discussion will include a consideration of this resource in public spaces that goes unused, techniques for making applesauce, practical canning tips, and a tasting of popular apple varieties still grown commercially in Michigan.

This session will have a $3 fee.

J. Amadeaus Scott, Apple Heritage Museum of Huron Valley

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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