Common Ground Radio 8/11/22: Apples!

Producers/Hosts: Holli Cederholm, Caitlyn Barker
Editing: Clare Boland

Common Ground Radio is an hour-long discussion of local food and organic agriculture with people here in the state of Maine and beyond.

The August 2022 episode of Common Ground Radio is all about apples! Host Holli Cederholm is joined by Laura Sieger, orchard manager with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and Lydia Pendergast, an orchard intern with MOFGA and self-described “fruit explorer.” They talked about the Maine Heritage Orchard, the importance of cultivar preservation, and how fruit exploration and genetic testing both play important roles in identifying apples at risk of extinction and protecting these fruits in perpetuity.

-Historic apples
-Fruit explorers
-The Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity, Maine
-Apple identification
-DNA testing of apples
-Apple propagation
-Organic orcharding
-Apples and climate change
-Summer apples


Laura Sieger, orchard manager, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) in Unity, Maine (
Lydia Pendergast, orchard intern with MOFGA and fruit explorer

FMI Links:

Maine Heritage Orchard
Stewardship Apples, Fedco:
“What’s in a name? The importance of identity in heirloom apple tree preservation,” published in Plants People Plant and co-authored by Sieger, Pendergast, et al.
North American Fruit Explorers
Washington State University’s Apple Genome Project
MyFruitTree, appleID:
Out On A Limb Apples (John Bunker)

About the hosts:

Holli Cederholm has been involved in organic agriculture since 2005 when she first apprenticed on a small farm. She has worked on organic farms in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Scotland and Italy and, in 2010, founded a small farm focused on celebrating open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables. As the former manager of a national nonprofit dedicated to organic seed growers, she authored a peer-reviewed handbook on GMO avoidance strategies for seed growers. Holli has also been a steward at Forest Farm, the iconic homestead of “The Good Life” authors Helen and Scott Nearing; a host of “The Farm Report” on Heritage Radio Network; and a long-time contributor for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, which she now edits in her role as content creator and editor at MOFGA.

Caitlyn Barker has worked in education and organic agriculture on and off for the last 17 years. She has worked on an organic vegetable farm, served on the Maine Farm to School network, worked in early childhood education and taught elementary school. She currently serves as the community engagement coordinator for MOFGA.