HR County Museum hosts Chautauqua program

The Hood River County Historical Museum is sponsoring a Chautauqua presentation by historian Nancy Appling entitled “Forbidden Fruit: The Apple in History, Legend, and Literature.” The free program begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum.

From the time of the Silk Road, when apples began migrating from Kazakhstan, to present-day debates over genetic manipulation of stock, apples have fallen in and out of favor.

They were cherished and cultivated by the Romans, disdained and discounted by the Italians, and preserved and hybridized by Americans. Apples are pervasive in art and literature, appearing as important themes in works by authors from Virgil to W.H. Auden.

Moreover, apples play a fascinating role in history. Thomas Jefferson took time from his duties at the White House to clone and graft apples. And on the Oregon Trail, pioneer nurseryman Henderson Lueling insisted his apple seedlings have water, even if his parched family went without.

Nancy Appling, a freelance editor and bibliophile, is seldom seen without her leather gloves and pruning shear.

When not researching plants and trees, Nancy tends give gardens in the Rogue Valley. Thirty years ago, she was teaching medicinal her classes at UCLA and working alongside master gardener Eddie Albert to establish community gardens in the Hollywood-Santa Monica area.

Since then, she has experimented with French Intensive Biodynamic gardening, plant cloning, and farming with Norwegian Fjord draft horses.

The Chautauqua program will be held in conjunction with the museums’ annual volunteer appreciation tea.

The tea is held each year at the end of October as a “thank you” to the many volunteers who contribute countless hours as docents and tour guides at the museum.

The tea and Chautauqua program are open to the public. For more information, contact Connie Nice, museum coordinator, at 386-6772.

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