Preservation and Diversification of Heirloom and Antique Apple Varieties in Southern Ohio

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2012: $4,395.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Jo Huff
Hillgate Farm

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: apples, general tree fruits


  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    The goal of the project is to identify, preserve and document antique and heirloom apple varieties from remnant apple orchards scattered across Lawrence County Ohio and to place a high emphasis on collecting scions from those trees at risk of immediate loss.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    OBJECTIVE: To preserve the antique and heirloom apple varieties found in Lawrence County Ohio that may otherwise be lost forever.

    TARGET 1: Record and document current locations of former apple orchards and existing live trees within Lawrence County Ohio.
    - Historic document and courthouse research regarding the orchard owners in Lawrence County starting in the 1800s until today.
    - Locate existing historic apple trees/orchards, photograph, document, and GPS the orchard locations and any existing live trees. - Provide university students with experience in field research and data collection while interacting with the community.
    - Evaluate field work for increased performance and adjustments using surveys/questionaires and discussions with university students.
    - Completed final report that includes historic information, maps of former orchard locations and tree preservation lessons learned for SARE dissemination.

    TARGET 2: Preserve and propagate existing antique and heirloom apple trees in Lawrence County Ohio.
    - Collect scions from existing trees or use rooting pots for collection.
    - Prepare and construct a garden area for fruit tree establishment and protection from deer browse for growing trees. PERFORMANCE INDICATORS:
    - Successful propagation of antique and heirloom apple trees that are at risk of being lost.
    - Results will provide the best method of collection that leads to higher livability.

    TARGET 3: Educate and promote the importance and renewed interest in antique and heirloom apples as a local food source and for a variety of cooking uses.
    - Articles will discuss the project and historic apple industry in southern Ohio in the quarterly farm newsletter.
    - Periodic press releases about the project will be sent to media.
    - Educational display will be designed for the Lawrence County Fair.
    - Responses to request forms and questionnaires that are disseminated and collected at the County Fair display will be evaluated.
    - Increased public awareness and interest will be evaluated after press and newsletter releases in which contact information is provided to the public.

    TARGET 4: Take the initial step in building a sustainable antique and heirloom apple industry in southern Ohio and other areas of the midwest.
    - Disseminate the information through SARE to the public and continue to promote the importance of preserving southern Ohio's apple heritage.
    - Support the continuation and diversity of the old apple varieties that may otherwise be lost.
    - Number of live trees successfully propagated to increase numbers of at-risk trees.
    - Number of local farmers focusing on antique and heirloom apple varieties as a business or in addition to their current operations.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.