North American Fruit Explorers
The North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) is a network of individuals throughout the United States and Canada devoted to the discovery, cultivation, and appreciation of "superior varieties of fruits and nuts." Founded in 1967 by a small group of pomological hobbyists, NAFEX has grown to an organization of more than 3,000 members. Members range from professional pomologists and commercial orchardists to individuals interested in starting a small home planting. The quarterly journal, Pomona, consists of articles submitted by members and often includes information about their failures as well as successes -- very important information for those just starting out! The NAFEX Web site includes information on how to join, contact information for specialty and regional groups, and a very helpful nursery and supply source list.
Books on Apples and Apple Growing
Old Southern Apples, by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr. (McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, 1995; $39.93) is a detailed and well-researched book that focuses on the importance of apples throughout the history of the south and provides excellent descriptions of the many old southern apple varieties.
Apples, by Roger Yepsen (W. W. Norton & Company, 1994; $17.95), will motivate you to start your own mini orchard. With watercolor illustrations of 80 apple varieties, accompanied by mouth-watering descriptions, you'll never be satisfied with store-bought apples again.
Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own, by Ben Watson (Countryman Press, 2000; $14.95), weaves the fascinating history of apple cultivation with the nuts-and-bolts of making your own cider.
The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, by Peter J. Hatch (University Press of Virginia, 1998; $44.95), is both historical and practical, describing in great detail the fruit gardens of Thomas Jefferson.