Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg use the legend of Johnny Appleseed, a nurseryman credited with introducing apple trees to the Midwest at the turn of the 19th century, to prompt discussions about food, the culture that surrounds it, and the roles it occupies in our memories.
Presented as part of LAL’s Tales They Told Us, Johnny Appleseed: As American as Apple Pie involves an all-apple family style dinner on April 6, beginning at 6pm, followed by an apple tree grafting workshop on April 7, 12-2pm.
April 6, 6pm
LAL's Loudoun House
FREE; RSVP required
In the case of Johnny Appleseed, the growth, cultivation, use, and understanding of the apple has followed a transformation as distorted as his memory. Together with Johnny, artists Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg will draw out the place of food culture within America over some crisp dinner conversation.
In order to participate, you must bring your favorite cooking or eating utensil.
April 7, 12 - 2pm
LAL's Loudoun House
FREE; apple trees given on a first come, first serve basis
The day after the apple dinner, artists Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg will lead an apple tree grafting workshop and further explore and promote the legacy of Johnny Appleseed.
Apple-centric games inspired by the dinner will play with the notion that history is made, and it changes, because of us and our recollections. Participants will also take home an apple tree grown from the seed of an apple consumed by one of the artists, who have been eating an apple a day since Appleseed's birthday (Sept. 27) in 2008.
The Appleseed Legend
Like much of American History, Johnny has been carefully manufactured and marketed to fit our desires and our times.
Between being born in Leominster, Mass.,and dying in Fort Wayne, Ind., John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, planted seedlings across the United States and Canada; though it is commonly accepted that he is only the father of orchards throughout the Midwest.
These orchards were a proto-capitalist venture, as property law required fruit trees of settlers before homesteading grants would be given (fruit trees, because of the time they took to produce fruit, symbolizing the intention of permanence).
Because they were seedlings rather than graft apples (and thus were a genetic and taste crapshoot), they would often have been sour, more well suited for hard cider, apple jack, apple butter and dried apples than for eating.
The adage, “An Apple a Day” doesn’t arise until the temperance movement when alcoholic uses of apples are no longer acceptable.