Winter Speaker Series


Searching for Historic Apples of Maine

John Bunker, Farmer/Author

Wednesday, November 12th, 7:00pm
Bridge Academy, 44 Middle Rd, Dresden, ME


Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) as we continue our 18th annual Winter Speaker Series with Searching for Historic Apples of Maine on Wednesday, November 12th at 7:00pm at Bridge Academy in Dresden. The event is free and open to the public.

Hundreds of local apple varieties graced Maine orchards long ago with fanciful names like Wolf River and Westfield Seek-No-Further. John Bunker has devoted much of his life to tracking down and preserving our agricultural heritage. His talk draws from years of experience as farmer and author exploring the deep history of rare and lost apple species. Bunker encourages attendees to bring apples for identification, a trademark of his popular presentations.

You can find the event on Facebook here.

In pomological circles, John Bunker is considered the Apple Guru. Besides homesteading at Super Chilly Farm in Palermo, John leads talks, conducts apple pie tasting contests and various apple events, and travels extensively looking for rare apples. Many people refer to him as the “Apple Whisperer” and he is well-known for attracting considerable attention at the annual Common Ground Fair, where he maintains a booth for Fedco. A longtime board member at Maine Organic Farmers and Gardiners Association (MOFGA), John was instrumental in founding the Maine Heritage Orchard at MOFGA’s headquarters in Unity and has been featured in national publications including Mother Jones, New York Times, and The Atlantic.

In 2007, John published Not Far From the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo Maine, 1804-2004, a book chronicling 200 years of apple farming in Palermo. It includes John’s illustrations, anecdotes, maps, information about the uses of apples, and histories of several different varieties. The book is currently in its third printing.

Throughout all his endeavors, John remains a pure and practical environmentalist, committed to organic growing standards for his farm’s fruit trees and gardens while living in an off-grid solar home he and his wife Cammy Watts designed and built themselves.

FOMB hosts monthly lectures, film screenings, and other events around the Merrymeeting Bay area through May 2015 as part of our Winter Speaker Series. They are always free and open to the public and are supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. All events take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick unless noted. The December 10th presentation, The Value of Honey Bees to Maine Agriculture, features Maine State Apiarist Tony Jadczak and will be held upstairs at The Old Goat in Richmond.

Visit to see the full Speaker Series schedule, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler