Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living by Andy BrennanUncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living by Andy Brennan

Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living

byAndy Brennan

Hardcover | June 17, 2019

Pricing and Purchase Info

$29.17 online 
$32.95 list price save 11%
Earn 146 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Today, food is being reconsidered. It’s a front-and-center topic in everything from politics to art, from science to economics. We know now that leaving food to government and industry specialists was one of the twentieth century’s greatest mistakes. The question is where do we go from here.
Author Andy Brennan describes uncultivation as a process: It involves exploring the wild; recognizing that much of nature is omitted from our conventional ways of seeing and doing things (our cultivations); and realizing the advantages to embracing what we’ve somehow forgotten or ignored. For most of us this process can be difficult, like swimming against the strong current of our modern culture.

The hero of this book is the wild apple. Uncultivated follows Brennan’s twenty-four-year history with naturalized trees and shows how they have guided him toward successes in agriculture, in the art of cider making, and in creating a small-farm business. The book contains useful information relevant to those particular fields, but is designed to connect the wild to a far greater audience, skillfully blending cultural criticism with a food activist’s agenda.

Apples rank among the most manipulated crops in the world, because not only do farmers want perfect fruit, they also assume the health of the tree depends on human intervention. Yet wild trees live all around us, and left to their own devices, they achieve different forms of success that modernity fails to apprehend. Andy Brennan learned of the health and taste advantages of such trees, and by emulating nature in his orchard (and in his cider) he has also enjoyed environmental and financial benefits. None of this would be possible by following today’s prevailing winds of apple cultivation.
In all fields, our cultural perspective is limited by a parallel proclivity. It’s not just agriculture: we all must fight tendencies toward specialization, efficiency, linear thought, and predetermined growth. We have cultivated those tendencies at the exclusion of nature’s full range. If Uncultivated is about faith in nature, and the power it has to deliver us from our own mistakes, then wild apple trees have already shown us the way. 

Andy Brennan owns Aaron Burr Cider in New York’s Catskills region. His career started as a freelance artist, working in the fields of photography, design, and architecture. Since its founding in 2011, Aaron Burr Cider has become well known among cider enthusiasts for its natural approach to cider making, using wild apples and yeasts. A...
Title:Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a LivingFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:288 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 1.2 inShipping dimensions:9.1 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:June 17, 2019Publisher:Chelsea Green PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1603588442

ISBN - 13:9781603588447


Editorial Reviews

“American cider has traditionally been deeply regional, dependent on ungrafted seedling trees like those lining the rocky farm fields and sandstone ridges of the Hudson Valley in New York. Andy Brennan and Polly Giragosian name their “locational” ciders after some of these foraging sites: Neversink Highlands, Shawangunk Ridge, Mamakating Hollow. Theirs are tannic, rich, full-bodied, complex drinks. As Brennan writes, ‘Cider making is a responsibility’—to the trees, the land, good food, and the community. Uncultivated is a wonderful, timely reminder of all that this drink can be at its best.”—David Buchanan, owner, Portersfield Cider; author of Taste, Memory