Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

The real legacy of Johnny Appleseed

John Chapman could be described as a successful real estate speculator with a good understanding of how to increase your wealth through compound interest. He is also one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood figures in American history. His biggest contribution to life on the American frontier was to create a renewable supply of hard cider and “applejack”, the favorite liquors of the expanding American population of his time. He was a religious zealot, a wild-eyed Swedenborgian missionary with the flinty toughness of Daniel Boone and the gentleness of a Hindu. Oh, and by the way, he planted millions of apple trees from seed.

Later reinvented as the cartoonish “Johnny Appleseed”, John Chapman was a pioneer who made a huge impact on America’s frontier, particularly in Ohio. He started a chain of nurseries reaching from western Pennsylvania through central Ohio and into Indiana. With the canny shrewdness of a real estate developer, staying just ahead of the westward migration, Chapman planted nurseries near remote settlements. When he died in 1845, his estate included 22 properties totaling over 1200 acres of prime waterfront real estate.

To discourage speculation and encourage stability, land grant deeds in the Northwest Territory required homesteaders to plant apple and pear orchards. Grafted apple trees with edible fruit were already available in Ohio, but Chapman grew his from seed. Apples don’t sprout “true to type” from seed, so fruit from Chapman’s trees was mostly bitter, useful only for making hard cider, which could be distilled into applejack. Safer, tastier and much easier to make than wine or grain liquors, apple cider was the alcoholic drink of choice on the American frontier. In fact, there was little else to drink. In rural areas, cider replaced wine, beer, coffee, tea and even water.

Young apple trees were essential supplies for any settler headed for the frontier, and John Chapman offered two and three year old saplings for about six cents each. He had a sixth sense for where the next wave of development would be, and by the time the demand was there he had a well-located nursery in full production, run by a local manager. In addition to apples, Chapman introduced many medicinal herbs to Ohio, and also stinking fennel. This annoying weed was once believed to prevent malaria; today it’s commonly called “Johnnyweed” by Ohioans.

Johnny Appleseed’s legacy became a target during Prohibition, when Carrie Nation’s axe was used to chop down apple trees along with saloons. Because of their popularity and for religious reasons, hard cider and applejack enjoyed some immunity from the early prohibitionists, but by 1900 they were attacked along with wine, beer and grain spirits. Johnny’s legend was reinvented, his image sanitized for political correctness.

In his excellent book “The Botany of Desire,” author Michael Pollan explores the Johnny Appleseed legend in detail. He concludes that John Chapman was “the American Dionysus”. Where Dionysus brought civilization the gift of wine, Chapman offered easier access to the pleasures of alcohol. Pollan views both men as bridges between nature and culture, harnessing the magic of fermentation to create social change.

The take-home message for gardeners is that apple trees grown from seed will not produce the same fruit as the original apple. Only grafting will produce dependable offspring with the qualities of the parent apple tree.

Steve Boehme and his wife Marjorie own GoodSeed Nursery and Landscape, located 9736 Tri-County Highway, near Winchester. More information is available at www.goodseedfarm.com or call 937-587-7021.

http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Boehme-sig.pdf

Growing apple trees from seed worked for Johnny Appleseed, but it won’t produce edible fruit for home orchardists. (Illustration by Marjorie Boehme)
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Johnny-Appleseed.jpgGrowing apple trees from seed worked for Johnny Appleseed, but it won’t produce edible fruit for home orchardists. (Illustration by Marjorie Boehme)

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