Hey Folks!

This blog post is ALL about the 1st Annual Wild and Seedling Pomological Exhibition. What it is, things to remember and how you can participate in what I hope will be a historic gathering of apple genetics on this continent! I am going to try and keep it short, to the point, and as crystal clear as possible !!


This event will be taking place on Halloween! Thursday, October 31st, 12PM – 5PM at the Ashfield Community Hall, Ashfield, Massachusetts. After Thursday, the event will remain on display through the weekend at another Cider Days venue, soon to be announced.


– Send an email to MATT@GNARLYPIPPINS.COM with the following info

  • Your name + a farm name or cidery name (optional), and the town that you come from.
  • The name(s) of all apples and pears you plan to submit (even a provisional name will do, e.g., “Sarah’s Big Green” or “Stonewall Sweet). Call it exactly what you refer to the apple as.
  • A brief description of each apple or pear. Include information about the physical attributes of the apple, flavor, what it’s used for, the town that the mother tree is from, if it’s been grafted and grown in any instance other than the original tree, and any other tidbits that you think are interesting or important. I will be evaluating each variety submitted against a pomological rubric to register all the esoteric information about the physical characteristics, so don’t get too hung up on that stuff. What I need from YOU is the background of the apple. All the info you can give that someone wouldn’t know by seeing and tasting it.

– Plan to set aside enough exemplar fruit! We need a minimum of 3 apples or pears of each variety, but having 6 or 8 of each variety is much, much, better, since we hope to have many attendants viewing and tasting small samples of each, while also having enough to photograph each one (perhaps the “nicest,” whatever that means).

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE ! This event needs you in order to be great ! 

If you plan to attend the event on Halloween, then submissions need to be in hand by 12 Noon on that day. If you can’t be there in time, or do not plan to come to the event but still want to have your favorite wildies recognized, then I ask that you please mail / ship your apples or pears through the mail to Gnarly Pippins HQ the week before the event. When you send your email to me with the above listed information, I will reply to you with the shipping address! 


It is possible to ship apples safely! Here are a few very basic tips if you don’t know where to start:

  • Find a container that your exemplar fruits will fit in. If it is a rigid container, make sure that any empty spaces are filled with padding to prevent bruising (bubble wrap, crumpled brown paper, packing peanuts or some other type of packing material).
  • Apple seasonality is very variable, so I understand that early season pippins won’t be the most practical submissions! Aim to harvest from the tree as close to your date of shipping as possible. This is a suggestion, not a requirement! We want the fruit to be as close in condition to how you’d normally be using it, right?
  • Plan to ship early in the week so the apples don’t get stuck in a postal warehouse over the weekend. Monday Oct 21st, 2019 would be the best day to ship! I will refrigerate them upon arrival until the event.
  • Ship fast to minimize transit time! It can be expensive to send things like this through the mail in a hurry. However, the US Postal Service is often the cheapest and most reliable if you can work on their schedule. Priority mail from USPS is a great go-to. Their boxes will fit your apples with ease, and 1-3 business days is well within the desired time window. Aim for 2 days transit time, 3 is OK too.


I want the world to recognize the importance of fruit exploring. For millenia, the selection of seedling specimens has been the primary form of crop improvement and the formation of biodiversity. I want this event to be a cultural monument to the hard work that we take part in of exploring, harvesting, evaluating, and propagating fruit that is gathered rather than grown. It is an opportunity for the forager to step up onto the milk crate (even in spirit if you are separated from us by proximity), and tell the world why their wild apples are great. It is my hope that this will lead to new connection between people, trees, and fruit. It is an opportunity to document novel accessions of apples and pears to the recognized catalog of varieties. Most of all, with YOUR participation, it will represent a snapshot of where apple and cider culture is today, and where we are heading. And what a great way to kick off Cider Days’ weekend!

[now, some not-so-subtle propaganda]


With all my love,

Matt // Gnarly Pips


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