How the hunt for lost apple varieties could preserve the fruit’s future
Chances are, you won’t find rare apple varieties like Excelsior, Goldridge, or Kittagaskee during a typical grocery shopping trip. But if you are a member of the Lost Apple Project, you just might find one while apple hunting. The Washington state nonprofit has spent six years searching for and documenting lost apple varieties, using leads gathered from the internet, historical records, and other tips from genetic diversity enthusiasts. So far, the group has found 23 lost varieties—which are important not only for historical preservation, but also for the future of apple breeding. These found varieties, Modern Farmer notes, may have qualities that make the fruit more resilient against disease or pests.