Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived

The Surprising Story of Apples in the South

By Diane Flynt

Foreword by Sean Brock and Photographs by Angie Mosier

Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived

304 pp., 7 x 10, 62 color plates, 21 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7694-4
    Published: September 2023

Ferris and Ferris Books

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For anyone who's ever picked an apple fresh from the tree or enjoyed a glass of cider, writer and orchardist Diane Flynt offers a new history of the apple and how it changed the South and the nation. Showing how southerners cultivated over 2,000 apple varieties from Virginia to Mississippi, Flynt shares surprising stories of a fruit that was central to the region for over 200 years. Colorful characters abound in this history, including aristocratic Belgian immigrants, South Carolina plantation owners, and multiple presidents, each group changing the course of southern orchards. She shows how southern apples, ranging from northern varieties that found fame on southern soil to hyper-local apples grown by a single family, have a history beyond the region, from Queen Victoria's court to the Oregon Trail. Flynt also tells us the darker side of the story, detailing how apples were entwined with slavery and the theft of Indigenous land. She relates the ways southerners lost their rich apple culture in less than the lifetime of a tree and offers a tentatively hopeful future.

Alongside unexpected apple history, Flynt traces the arc of her own journey as a pioneering farmer in the southern Appalachians who planted cider apples never grown in the region and founded the first modern cidery in the South. Flynt threads her own story with archival research and interviews with orchardists, farmers, cidermakers, and more. The result is not only the definitive story of apples in the South but also a new way to challenge our notions of history.

About the Author

A multiple-time James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, Diane Flynt founded Foggy Ridge Cider in 1997 after leaving her corporate career and produced cider until 2018. She now sells cider apples from the Foggy Ridge orchards in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.

For more information about Diane Flynt, visit the Author Page.


"For as long as I have known the delightful and learned orchardist, cidermaker, and apple whisperer Diane Flynt, I've imagined what a rare gift it would be to sit down with her and say, 'Please, tell me everything you've learned about southern apples and how it is you came to be on such a journey to find out.' This book is almost all that. It could only be better if it came packaged with Diane's welcoming smile."—Ronni Lundy, scholar from the holler and author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes

"Diane Flynt stands in a pivotal position within the core of "Apple-lachia," which harbors the most diversity of apple varieties remaining in North America. Rediscovering and reviving some of the rarest and most curious fruits on our continent, she has restored forgotten flavors to the liquid art of hard cider and enriched the cultural heritage of orchard keepers and cidermakers. If there were a Nobel Prize for advancing a kind of conservation you can taste, Diane Flynt would be blessed with that honor."—Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotanist, author and MacArthur Grant recipient

"Diane Flynt says it herself: she's someone who loves nothing more than being at the top of a swing, because it lets her see the familiar with new eyes. Decades ago, she trained those eyes on—if you'll pardon me—the most boring, ubiquitous fruit: the apple. But now that we can see apples from her point of view—their stories, their botany, their place in creating, changing, and reflecting the landscape of the South and of our country—I have never been more fascinated by them. Diane's a brilliant mind, a passionate grower, and a generous writer; this book is a gift."—Francis Lam, host, The Splendid Table

"Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived is a personal journey through the storied orchards of the American South. From openings that read like a warm memoir set against meaty pockets of science, Diane Flynt underscores the how and why of southern apples. She explains the facts and fiction around the fruit to fully personify the nimble ways it suited and supported the needs of Indigenous people, enslaved people, and landowners alike. Flynt shows us all but lost when we fled our family farms in the name of opportunity and turned our backs on the agricultural heirlooms that held more than we ever knew. Luckily, she leaves us with the ways she and other resourceful entrepreneurs are working creatively to reestablish and invigorate an important but also delicious part of our diverse shared heritage."—Vivian Howard, restauranter, author of Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, and host of Somewhere South and A Chef's Life

"Diane Flynt's story-driven look at the history of southern apples is an enriching and enlightening read, full of quirky details and memorable characters. She's offered us a complex and multifaceted history, shining light on undervalued southerners, particularly Indigenous and enslaved, who contributed to the agricultural and cultural phenomenon of apples in the South."—Georgann Eubanks, author of The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year