Through color photographs of apple orchards and workplaces and the oral histories of apple growers and others involved in the Virginia apple industry, Shenandoah Valley Apples: Where History and Photography Meet explores the history, current conditions, and future of apple growing in the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge regions of Virginia.
Shenandoah Valley Apples relays a historical and cultural legend exemplified by relationships between people and land in the context of an economy that has always been regional, national and international in nature. It also describes a unique present in which economic pressures, international trade, and encroaching development are changing those people and that land with unprecedented severity and speed. At the same time, proud stories of adaptation, perseverance and success are also part of the picture.
Photographs and oral histories for Shenandoah Valley Apples were made in Albermarle, Augusta, Botetourt, Clarke, Frederick, Madison, Nelson, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties in Virginia. Perspectives include those of first through fifth generation apple growers. Orchards photographed range from a 9-acre roadside operation through mid-size orchards on diversified family farms, to some of the nation’s largest commercial orchards.
Fundraising for publication of Shenandoah Valley Apples: Where History and Photography Meet by The Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago was recently completed. Publication is expected in 2010.