Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HY - History
  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


This course will explore the history of agriculture from the vantage point of Downeast Maine with a focus on apples.

The premise of the course is that by exploring this fascinating crop in detail from the local vantage point of Downeast Maine students will be able to grasp the many historical processes at work from the introduction of the fruit in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to the age of agricultural improvement in the eighteenth on to the rise and fall of commercial orcharding as a major component of Maine’s farm economy in the early twentieth century.

Using sources ranging from secondary sources, historical atlases, aerial surveys, and diaries, we will explore how the culture of apple agriculture in Maine develops over time as part of an interconnected Atlantic World where crops flow back and forth between Britain and the colonies/US over hundreds of years. Course activities will include fruit exploration, fieldtrips to track down and identify antique varieties, as well as visits to the local farms where a new generation of apple culture is taking shape.

The course will also engage students with the process of cider-making, both sweet and hard, as well as exercises in the preparation, storage, and processing of apples. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussion, how they collaborate with others in class projects, and a final individual or collaborative project. This course is designed for students interested in history, farming and food systems, community-based research, and policy/planning issues. It is also very appropriate for students who like apples and just want to know (a lot) more.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.