ST. GEORGE — The St. George Historical Society invites the public to the final open house of 2022 at the Andrew Robinson Homestead, located at 945 River Road, on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to tours of the historic house and barn, the event will feature an apple historian, John Bunker, who will be on site to answer questions and speak about apples and orchard history in Maine. John is an expert on American apples and their origins. In 1984 he started the cooperative mail-order nursery Fedco Trees.

He was presented with the Maine Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award by Governor Mills in 2019 for his “outstanding contributions to preserving Maine’s historic apple heritage”. In 2012 he founded the Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity Maine to ensure that Maine’s heritage apple varieties remain. His recent book, “Apples and the Art of Detection,” recounts his forty-year history of tracking down, identifying and preserving rare apples and why we should rescue them. The book will be available for sale and signing. He will be at the Homestead for the entire open house from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. John resides on Superchilly Farm in Palermo, Maine with Cammy Watts. More information about John and Cammy’s activities may be found at outonalimbapples.com.

Apple trees played a crucial role for many Maine families, including the residents of the Andrew Robinson Homestead. The trees provided healthy sustenance during hard times and could be stored over a long winter. Apple cider vinegar was an essential household product.

If you have an apple growing on your property that needs identifying, John will possibly be able to provide the variety. Or just bring your apples to add to the on-site apple cider pressing. Overall, a fun day is in store for all ages and interests. This is a free event but donations are gladly accepted.