Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Hey, I just read a book called, "Apples are from Kazakhstan."  I had no idea about this before I picked up that book.  And not just because I thought apples were from the grocery store.  Where I grew up, we had an apple-picking tradition.  Every fall we'd drive to the orchards along the river and pick apples (and we NEVER managed to use them all, you couldn't even give them away, people were so sick of apples by mid-October) and reward ourselves with real apple cider (this simply cannot be found in a store) and then a meal of catfish.  It was Huckleberry Finn city.  Forget pie.  There was simply nothing more American than a September day on the river picking apples.  

So I was totally shocked to hear about Kazakhstan!  But there are like thousands of apple varieties, so while losing any is bad, I don't see a world without apples.  

And, this is also heartbreaking:  Apple pie is not an American invention...

Kazakhstan is a relatively well developed country compared to its Central Asian neighbors.  And like its neighbors, no aid is going to them without tit-for-tat.  Any offer to pay to save their orchards is probably going to have something in fine print about using their country to launch missiles or extract resources.  In fact, US Aid to that part of the world terrifies me more than the extinction of a few apple cultivars...

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Fri May 8th, 2009 at 03:37:50 PM EST

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