Oz Farm Retreat and Cabin Rental Mendocino County California view of main garden field for organic produce.
Espaliered apple trees at Oz Farm in spring.
 
Oz Farm Retreat and Cabin Rental Mendocino County California organic produce stand at Gualala Farmers' Market.
Espaliered apples at Oz Farm, late summer.
 

Oz Farm's signature crop is its antique apples grown in an espalier style orchard. We're collecting here information about resources, interesting books and places for those interested in learning more about the world of apples and the espalier technique for gardens and farms.

We welcome suggestions for additions to these resources.

 

Nurseries

Books

  • Rodale Press.
    Good source of books on organic gardening, pruning, and gardening in small spaces.
  • The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
    (Random House, 2001),
    Chapter 1: “Desire: Sweetness / Plant: The Apple”
    explores the evolutionary relationship between man and apples.

 

Other Books on apples
  • The Apple Book, Rosanne Sanders (Philosophical Library, 1989).
    A guide to 122 kinds of apples, observed in both prose and watercolors.  The author's descriptions of apple varieties, presented in chart format, cover shape and size of fruit, core, seeds and tree; color; flavor; and month(s) of fruit-bearing.  Her final chapter advises readers on apple growing: choice of site, planting, pruning, diseases and pests.
  • Apples, Roger Yepsen (WW Norton, 1994). Amazon.com:  Picture-perfect apples with lackluster flavor dominate the American and European markets because they have the longest shelf life and broadest appeal. At the same time, there is a renaissance of interest in preserving precious, personality-packed heirloom apples. To lure people into joining this small but growing movement, Roger Yepsin has created this visually enchanting book devoted to the infinitely varied apple.  In it, he talks about how apples are grown, stored, and used to make cider and harder alcoholic beverages, as well as for cooking and eating. You can virtually taste the complex flavors of over 80 kinds of apples, thanks to Yepsin's exquisite prose and the vividly detailed watercolors he painted for Apples.  Looking through the section describing each apple variety takes you on an international journey.  You will meet the Japanese-bred Akane, introduced in 1970, the golden, russet-skinned Zabergau Reinette that came from Germany in the 1880s, and the French Calville Blanc which has been cultivated since the 1500s and which Thomas Jefferson grew.  This informative romancing of the apple may draw you to a local farm stand, or inspire you to contact one of the mail order sources Yepsin provides for buying apples, actual trees, cider presses, and winemaking supplies.  At the very least, you will want to experience for yourself apples beyond the usual tart Green Granny Smith and reliably dull Red Delicious.
    --Dana Jacobi
  • Apples, Frank Browning (North Point Press, 1998).  From Publishers Weekly:
    In what he describes as "a quirky piece of personal and agricultural storytelling," Browning contemplates aspects of the "forbidden fruit," from its probable origins in the mountains of Kazakhstan to its modern transformation into a high-tech product of commercial orchards. In his quest for knowledge about the apple, he talks to collectors of old varieties, commercial monoculturists, genetic engineers and master cider-makers. He travels to Kazakhstan to meet a scientist who devotes his life to the preservation of the world's original apple forests; to Geneva, N.Y., to visit Cornell University's apple-breeding program; and to France, England and the western hills of Virginia to taste traditional ciders. Although he is unenthusiastic about the perfectly shaped but bland Golden Delicious, Jonathans, Red Delicious, Granny Smiths and Fujis found in supermarkets today, he realizes that the tastier heirloom varieties such as Westfield Seek-No-Further, Newton Pippin, Winter Pearmain and Roxbury Russet are not commercially viable. Accepting the apple as a "full partner in the age of science and modernism," he's optimistic that breeders, perhaps by crossing apples from the primeval forests of Kazakhstan with other varieties, will create new apples that are flavorful as well as long-keeping, hardy and disease-resistant. Appendices include descriptions of 20 "prize" apples, new and old; a brief discussion of rootstocks and tree sizes, for backyard orchardists; and a sampling of apple and cider recipes from around the world. (Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

 

Places

  • The Hagley Museum and Library, in Wilmington, DE, not far from the Winterthur, has a beautiful formal French garden with a remarkable collection of espaliered apple and pear trees, reputedly the largest collection of espaliered fruit trees in the US.

 


P.O. Box 244, Point Arena, CA 95468 ~ 415-626-8880 Reservations ~ 707-882-3046 Farm ~ reservations@oz-farm.com