In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. Today on Word of Mouth: the decline of Civil War reenactments, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, after millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 3000 known varieties of apple. But, are our beloved Galas and Honeycrisps in peril? Why the extinction of wild apple species in central Asia could spell disaster for their descendants. And, when it comes to rice, why brown may not be the healthier.
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Fall in New Hampshire means fairs, foliage – and getting out to one of the state's 300-odd apple orchards to pick your own. Elaine Starkey is out at Butternut Farm in Farmington, with her sons and grandkids, to do just that.
"They usually have donuts, but we got here a little late."
'Pick Your Own Apples' now means not just picking the fruit, but also hay rides, corn mazes, petting animals, And enjoying other seasonal products, like cider, pies, and yes, donuts.
A scent of ripeness from over a wall. And come to leave the routine road And look for what had made me stall, There sure enough was an apple tree That had eased itself of its summer load, And of all but its trivial foliage free…
In the mid-1800s the United States was home to more than fifteen thousand varieties of apple - two thousand in New England alone. That diversity was pretty much wiped out by the growth of industrial agriculture and today, only a few varieties remain…at least in the supermarket. John Bunker , a man known as the apple whisperer, is on a quest to find, save and preserve long lost types of apples.
New Hampshire apples are already ripe, about two weeks ahead of schedule. They're available at farm stands and farmers' markets, but that doesn't mean you can head to the orchards to pick them yourself – just yet.