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A Newtown Pippin. Photo by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation/Monticello

A Newtown Pippin. Photo by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation/Monticello

The “prince of apples” was cultivated nearly three hundred years ago in what’s now New York City, on the banks of the Newtown Creek. This sweet and tart green apple became so prized by the most cultured citizens of our new republic that Thomas Jefferson declared from France, “They have no apples here to compare with our Newtown pippin.” To this day, Newtown pippins are grown at the Virginia estates of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Monticello and Mount Vernon.

We are proud and happy to bring this beautiful heritage back to New York City. We are providing hundreds of Newtown pippin apple trees (and other delicious varieties for pollination) to local community gardens and environmental organizations over the next several years.

Let the abundance of these trees, and those to come, remind us of how lush and fertile the Newtown Creek and the surrounding city once were, and inspire our actions.

“The Newtown Pippen, originally discovered in Queens, NY, is one of the all-time great American apples– storied, delicious, and overdue for a comeback. I’m delighted about this campaign to revive the Newtown Pippin, so close to its native ground. I can’t imagine a better choice for New York City’s official apple.”

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, The Botany of Desire, Second Nature, and A Place of My Own.

Green Apple Cleaners, New York City’s environmental dry cleaner and laundry service, is partnering with Slow Foods NYC, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (MillionTreesNYC, Greenbelt Native Plant Center, GreenThumb), Earth Day New York, and Cummins Nursery (and sometimes other respected nurseries) to supply community gardens and environmental organizations with two apple trees each: one Newtown pippin sapling and one pollinating partner. To be convenient for small plots and bear fruit faster, the trees are grown from dwarf rootstock and will reach a height of up to ten feet with a crown diameter of up to eight feet.

We’re also grateful to Sage General Store/Sage Events for celebrating this fruit through its delicious pastries for the most discerning palates in NYC. We sent gift boxes containing Sage’s Newtown Pippin tarts to dignitaries in all five boroughs to build support for our effort.

We encourage community gardens and environmental organizations (including schools and universities) to apply for the Newtown pippin saplings. Please send queries and the following application to Green Apple Cleaners’ outreach coordinator, Erik Baard, at ebaard@greenapplecleaners.com. Final site selection will be approved by the GreenThumb program of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

To learn more about Newtown Pippins and the partners behind their restoration and celebration, please visit the following websites:

NEWTOWN PIPPINS: http://www.twinleaf.org/articles/pippin.html

GREEN APPLE CLEANERS: http://www.greenapplecleaners.com

EARTH DAY NEW YORK: http://www.earthdayny.org

GREEN THUMB: http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/

MILLIONTREESNYC: http://www.milliontreesnyc.org

GREENBELT NATIVE PLANT CENTER: http://www.greenbeltnativeplantcenter.org

SLOW FOOD NYC: http://www.slowfoodnyc.org/

CUMMINS NURSERY: http://www.cumminsnursery.com/

SAGE AMERICAN KITCHEN: http://www.sageamericankitchen.com/

NEWTOWN CREEK: http://www.newtowncreekalliance.org/

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