Apples of Eden: Saving the Wild Ancestor of Modern Apples

The original apples still grow in Central Asia, but are threatened with extinction.

"They sit you down and make you this lovely cup of tea, and then you're served a whole range of different jams and preserves, and all of these are local. They're all made from the forest and [are] absolutely delicious," says Newton, a professor at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. "That's when it really hit home to me what a fantastic cultural value these forests are. You do feel in a small way that you are in a land of plenty." (Related: "Beyond Delicious.")

The ancient woodlands of Kyrgyzstan—and of the four neighboring former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—are home to more than 300 wild fruit and nut trees. They include walnut trees, eight to ten

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