Episode 3, Restoring an Old Apple Tree Orchard and a Sip of Hard Cider with Trevor Newman



We’ve still got a LOT to learn about plant propagation, grafting, pruning and the other arts of tree cultivation. We’re blessed to have many experienced tree-whispers in our region like Archangel, and today’s guest, Trevor Newman.

Based out of Southeast Michigan, Trevor is an avid gardener, orchardist and all-around plant geek, as his blog describes. He run’s an Edible Landscaping and Ecological Design Firm called Roots to Fruits. He is the president of the Michigan Nut Growers Association, and is passionate about promoting uncommon fruits, homesteading, permaculture, agroforestry and local food in general. This is an info packed interview, so be sure to get out your notepads on this one!

You might think that having hard cider is just a luxury for those celebratory moments. But actually if you press apples into cider, then keep the cider in an airtight container, it will often start to ferment naturally from the native yeasts present on the apples. And this turns out to be a great way to preserve the apples much longer into the winter, because alcohol is naturally antiseptic.

Another bonus product that can come from apples is vinegar. If you let the cider ferment while exposed to the air, then different microbes digest the sugars and it turns into apple cider vinegar. This vinegar is great for cleaning surfaces, taken in small amounts to aid in digestion, and it has many more uses.

It’s so easy to take simple things in our lives for granted, like apples and apple trees. Trevor cracks open the enigma and shows all the fascinating behaviors and characteristics of these trees. Not to mention some serious patience in all the multi-year work that he’s doing. We need more pioneers like Trevor, focused in the work of resurrecting these old neglected food systems around us.

Let’s raise a glass of Cider in cheers to the apple growers, the apple trees, and all those dedicated to cultivating a culture in partnership with trees. We need them.

Thank you for listening in today. There’s more good stuff to come on the Permaculture Realized Podcast.