The North American Fruit Explorers

The North American Fruit Explorers, a non-profit group of fruit enthusiasts, is committed to the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of exceptional varieties of fruits and nuts.

| August/September 2002

Learn about how the North American Fruit Explorers find, identify and preserve fruit varieties.

Visit this story's main article Experts Share the Best Fruit Varieties in America to learn about growing your own fruit.

The North American Fruit Explorers: Finding The Most Flavorful Fruit

When amber sap oozes down your peach tree and the books don't tell you what it is, whom do you call? If you're looking for an unusual apple variety such as "Kandil Sinap," who can put you in touch with nurseries selling the trees? The North American Fruit Explorers, that's who.

Founded in 1967, NAFEX is a non-profit group of more than 2,500 fruit enthusiasts throughout the United States, Canada and other parts of the world who are committed to the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of exceptional varieties of fruits and nuts. These amateur and commercial fruit growers collectively possess a wealth of wisdom about fruit and nut cultivation, pests, sources and oddities. And they share their knowledge liberally with all who join their ranks.

One member compares NAFEX to monasteries during Dark Ages, where knowledge and plant varieties were kept alive for future generations by cataloging, propagating and maintaining fruits and nuts. A splendid array will be available for our descendants, too, through the efforts of NAFEX. For example, in the past hundred years, more than 5,000 apple varieties have been dropped from commercial markets. Yet NAFEX members have many of these antique apples in their own yards.

Finding, identifying and preserving fruit varieties from the past is one of the missions that defines NAFEX.

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