In 2008 I was asked by a disabled lady to pick apples for her from her 100 year old orchard of about 20 apple trees. It seemed like an easy request, but when I went to the orchard I found the trees had not been pruned in decades and all the apples were 20 to 30 feet above me. During the next few years I pruned the orchard, which led me to investigate the varieties of apples in the orchard. Some of the varieties I have ID'd are Jonathon, McIntosh, Wagener, Wealthy, Winter Banana, and Wolf River. I have now begun to investigate the rich history of apple orchards in this area (NE Washington State).
After researching the many antique varieties I just had to try them. This led me to grafting and exchanging scions with fellow apple lovers around the country.
I want to thank the many truly nice people I have met through this addicting hobby: Fruitgrower, Wildforager, IM Red, Markmnt, bberry, Harvestman, Nimzo, Xentar, and I'm sure I've forgotten others. Thank you for all you've done for me and I appologize for small or substandard scions I may have sent you. Please know I always try to send the best I have.
I have started my own orchard of about 20 apple trees. Having a 100 year old orchard to play with has advantages for a novice grafter. I'm able to put multiple grafts of each new variety on the old trees so that if I do have failures (and I do) one of the scions will survive. I always label each graft with an aluminum marker and I also have a map of both orchards with the varieties on each tree listed. Right now I have over 60 new varieties of scions grafted on these trees.
Once again, thank you for all your help!