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Been reading a book on … apples. Early in the book there is a brief section on the history of good-tasting apples. What the author tells us is that most wild and old-time apples are called “quick spitters” because they taste so bad you spit them out quick. The good fruit, whether originally an accident of nature or man-made hybrid, have always been the grafter’s product. Greeks as early as the sixth or seventh century BC relied on vegetative surgery and in the 9th century the French discovered a dwarf tree that they grafted nearly all of their apples too.

In other words, the iconic apple, probably like most fruits, is nowhere near native to the US (it seems to be from a very hilly region of Kazakhstan), and anything remotely edible has been the product of centuries of breeding, and the good ones are propogated by grafting wood from the desired apple tree onto reliable stock. Exactly like Frankenstein,

I look forward to the protests and the tearing up of experimental plots of ALL apples.

By the way, I recommend books like Emma Maris’ Rambunctious Garden for more detailed discussions on the meaning of “natural” and “untrammeled” and “steady state” ecosystems.

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