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Valley Gold Book

Valley Gold The Story of the Apple Industry in Nova Scotia
by Anne Hutten, Petheric Press Ltd., 1981

The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association commissioned Anne Hutten to write a comprehensive history of the Nova Scotia apple industry. The result, Valley Gold, is a wealth of information for anyone looking to find out more about this province's apple industry. It is a comprehensive volume examining the apple industry from the 1600s to modern times.

A broad range of topics are covered - the social history, the science, the industry, and the business of growing and selling apples. Hutten meticulously documents many of the key figures from the early days of the Valley's apple industry, such as Charles Prescott, Colonel Burbidge and Bishop Inglis. However, she also includes stories from farmers and from people who worked at the evaporators and processing plants, and through them manages to illustrate the enormous economic, historic and social importance of the apple industry to the history of the Valley. The following is an excerpt from Valley Gold.

"That's where we got our clothes for winter," said Dean Hennigar of Sheffield Mills. He remembers cull apples fetching forty cents a barrel right after World War II; that was considered a good price. The extra income helped to ensure barrels of sauerkraut, salt beef, pork and cod down cellar. Cash from the culls helped to buy those essentials which couldn't be produced on the farm, such as footwear and winter coats...  The evaporators helped bring a measure of prosperity to the economy at a time when the Great Depression knocked down income all over the western world.

Through interviews and research of historical materials, Hutten creates vividly detailed pictures of the Valley's orchards, apple warehouses and evaporators as they must have been years ago. Her fine rendering of the information and attention to detail truly transport us back in time to the glory days of the apple industry in Nova Scotia.

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