WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 1
As part of our ongoing series on culinary traditions we turn today to WPA Sources on Virginia. This fall farming community food processing tradition is a story archived in the Library of Congress as part of its America Eats collection in a Virginia folder marked "Notes, Reports, and Essays." We share the content in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and we share illustrative direct quotes as often as possible. Will be sharing a original Grant Jennings Smith documented story. He was a WPA writer covering the state of Virginia. We are dividing the story into several parts and will be sharing them over the next several days.
In rural districts of Frederick County Virginia which are dotted with apple orchards, farmers look to the dropping of the leafs with keen interest. Autumn, for the Valley farmer, means the harvesting of thousands of bushels of richly red apples. Packing sheds, with a ripened fruit is sorted by migrant workers for Fancy and US 1 markets, and the culls boxed for shipment to apple byproduct plants, are beehives of sound and motion. Convoys of trucks, groaning under the weight of their stack of boxed apples, move slowly along the roads and highways, converging upon Winchester, the mecca of the orchard district in the northern section of Virginia. (Grant Jennings Smith)
Here's the take away: those of us who live in areas large enough to have farms and/or family gardens. the fruit trees and plants that we have produced more than we can harvest and consume. I can't think of any better way to create a sense of community and to share your abundance with your neighbors. Consider organizing a community event around harvesting and cooking the same day the food made in your neighborhood? How about making food from your harvest like baked goods, preserves, pies, breads, etc selling them for a profit and donating the proceeds Victims of the hurricanes or other devastations?