John Bunker
John Bunker
Wessaweskeag Historical Society will present “The Apples of South Thomaston: Tracking Down and Preserving Our Orchard Heritage,” a talk by John Bunker at its meeting on Thursday, October 12, in the society’s meeting room, just behind South Thomaston Library at the corner of Route 73 and Dublin Road. A potluck supper will take place at 6 p.m. and the program will start at 7:00.

Bunker has lived in Palermo for 44 years, operating Super Chilly Farm and growing vegetables, woody and herbaceous ornamentals, small fruits and tree fruits. His passion is tracking down heirloom fruit varieties, particularly those in Maine.

This year was the bicentennial of the Little Red Schoolhouse in South Thomaston. With a nod to the idea of “an apple for the teacher,” Bunker and members of Wessaweskeag Historical Society set out on September 9 to look for the oldest apple trees in the village. The results of that day’s search will be discussed during the presentation. People are invited to bring along apples from the trees in their yards for identification.

Bunker established Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)’s Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity, which currently is home to 300 historic apples and pears. He speaks and teaches throughout New England, and in 2007 published “Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and Orchards of Palermo, Maine.”