Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
United States News

Exhibit On Real Johnny Appleseed To Hit the Road 71

An anonymous reader writes with this story about a traveling Johnny Appleseed exhibit set to hit the road sometime next year. If you picture Johnny Appleseed as a loner wearing a tin pot for a hat and flinging apple seeds across the countryside, experts say you're wrong. They're hoping that a traveling exhibit funded by an anonymous donation to a western Ohio center and museum will help clear misconceptions about the folk hero and the real man behind the legend. "We want people around the country to know the real person, not just the myths and folklore," said Cheryl Ogden, director of the Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum at Urbana University in Urbana. "We want them to know John Chapman's values of hard work, compassion and generosity." Chapman, known as Johnny Appleseed to generations of Americans, was a pioneer nurseryman in the late 18th and early 19th centuries credited with introducing apple trees to portions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. While it's probably true that he lived outdoors and wore ragged clothes, at least sometimes, researchers doubt he wore a pot on his head or just gave his seedlings and nurseries away.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Exhibit On Real Johnny Appleseed To Hit the Road

Comments Filter:
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:14PM (#47495351)
    Since fruit trees can bear annually without any specific farming, they're an okay food source supplement in places war torn, or recovering from deforestation

    I have a tweet I do on twitter daily: Go #green & help the #poor @foodforthepoor Plant fruit trees in #Haiti [] []
    • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @04:20PM (#47495993)
      One Problem with your plan... Poor people need firewood to.
      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        One Problem with your plan... Poor people need firewood to.

        Well, some fruit trees give high quality firewood. So they seem likely to be able to provide on that front as well.

    • Check out the Breadfruit Institute [] for a good group on that topic. Breadfruit is highly productive and can be grown in some of the poorest most food insecure regions on the globe.

    • Chapman's apple-planting was never about the fruit (nor did TFA go into it). What it was really about was CIDER -- hard cider in areas that didn't yet raise enough barley for beer, or lacked the quality of soil for grain crops, frex in rocky areas like the Appalachians. Beer (which then meant thick stuff with a lot of nutritional value) and cider are how you preserve grain and fruit when you don't have secure dry storage or refrigeration (not that fruit keeps very well at its best). That the end product con

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'll wait for the surreal Johnny Appleseed exhibit.

    • "And this picture we see the tin pot wearing Johnny Appleseed and distributing Spam to all the starving earthworms in the New York subway system."

  • Damn it (Score:4, Funny)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:16PM (#47495371)

    Next you will be telling me that Paul Bunyan didn't have a giant blue ox named babe or Pecos Bill didn't tame a tornado.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      John Henry was not a steel driving man. He used a Wood.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @02:18PM (#47495389)

    Back in his day, hard cider was the dominant form of alcoholic beverage in the frontier. Easy to make, easy to grow. Beer requires growing grain, then processing, and fermenting, and storing. Grapes don't grow in the area.

    • this absolutely.

    • This is what I understood about the Johnny Appleseed story.

      Apple seeds don't necessarily grow sweet apples. Some are sour. Modern eating apples are grafts from trees that product sweet fruit, while seedlings are a crap shoot.

      Old and young alike consumed hard cider (children were given a watered down version) because of waterborne illness. You couldn't trust the water, but you could trust that your hard cider would be safe.

  • Includes a pizza bagel and a bite size Snickers for dessert!

  • Oh yeah tons of nerdy tech stuff in this article.

    • In case you've missed it, we've had plenty of articles on drugs (alcohol is a drug), distillation (chemistry) and taxation (cue the innumerable posts on taxation, etc.). This fits right in.

      Stifle yourself.

    • Better than the repetitive Android/Apple shit that gets posted over and over again.

  • I'll wait for the simulated Johhny Appleseed. Then at least there will be an actual reason to post the story on Slashdot.
  • Alcohol production! Genetic Diversity! Microclimate! []

  • How about a modern day guy who roams the countryside with marijuana clones. I have often dreamt about scattering seeds in all the ditches of the land.

  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @04:11PM (#47495961)
    He was among the first anti-GMO crusaders. As I recall, he followed some fringe Christian mystic dude who was against the genetic engineering of apple trees via grafting. Which isn't good, because apples are polyploid, and can't reliably be grown from seed. That's why they're grafted.
    • Re:He was anti GMO (Score:5, Informative)

      by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:17PM (#47496811)

      That's close, but not entirely true. Some apple trees are triploid, like Gravenstein and Jonagold, but most are diploid, so not really polyploid. Apple seeds will grow just fine, but the reason they are grafted is because they are very heterozygous, and as such, any seedlings will not have the same genetic characteristics as the original parent apples, and in all likelihood will be inferior. When people breed apple trees, they can go through thousands of seedlings only to find one tree with superior fruit. By grafting, you keep the superior genetics of an exceptional fruit, like Honeycrisp. Most fruit crops are reproduced asexually in some way for this reason, with the exception of cantaloupe, watermelon, and papaya, which have much shorter lifespans, and as such are much easier to work with. Trees are also grafted because, by using mature plant material, the tree will come to bearing faster, and you can select rootstock that offers dwarfing and disease resistance traits, which are useful.

      You are right that he was against grafting though, proclaiming that it was wicked, damaging, and against the will of God. Unfortunately, judging by the modern opposition to GMOs, humanity did not learn anything from his silliness. Today, we have opposition to the Arctic apples, which hopefully will be released soon, which have the relatively simple trait of non-browning. Anti-GMO people claim they are worried that GMO apples will cross pollinate other apples [], despite the simple fact that apples are asexually propagated. That's right, these folks don't know the first, most basic things about apple biology, but damn it they're going to pound in their stupid point anyway no matter how wrong they are. Ridiculous.

      • by tricorn ( 199664 )

        My parents have an apple tree growing in the front that has apples that don't brown at all. They taste pretty good as well, and don't seem to have much of a problem with insects. I have no idea if the tree was grown from ra andom seed from an apple or what its lineage is, I don't think it's been grafted. Does that mean it's potentially worth something?

        BTW, regarding the article - that's Urbana, Ohio. There's more than one Urbana (e.g. Urbana, Illinois, with the University of Illinois, not Urbana Univers

  • Apple trees don't breed true from seed. If you have a tree that produces nice-tasting apples, trees grown from its seeds are unlikely to produce nice-tasting apples. For that reason, apples are always propagated by cuttings. So why did Johnny plant apple seeds? Because you can use any old sour-tasting apple to make cider. That's right. Johhny Appleseed was a one-man booze promoter.
    • Also, apple vinegar. And apple butter is pretty good to spread on your bread like a jam. And it all works pretty well with apples that are definitely not 'direct eaters' like the modern hybrids.

  • Speaks at length about John Chapman. Apples were for Apple Jack, not eating. In his book he speaks of four plants, the Apple, Tulip, Potato, and Marijuana, and how they manipulate us into a mutually beneficial relationship. I'm a big fan of his books on food.
  • Any connection to that John Appleseed guy that appears in all the Apple keynotes ?

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller