Wild Apple Forests of Kazakhstan: Lessons for a Sustainable Agriculture


An illustrated lecture with Dr. Gennaro Fazio, USDA/Cornell andĀ Ethan Roland Solaviev, AppleSeed Permaculture

  • Wednesday, October 8, 2014
  • Reception/Tree Viewing: 5:15-6:30 p.m.
  • Lecture: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • The Arsenal GalleryCentral Park, 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, Third Floor

Kazakhstan is one of the origins of the cultivated apple. In the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, wild forests of 50-foot-tall apple trees embody an incredible diversity, tenacity, and history. However, due to rapid development and shifting cultures, the forests are disappearing. At the same time, the drought tolerance, disease resistance, and ecosystem characteristics of the Kazakh apples can provide valuable tools for horticulture and climate change resilience in New York State and beyond.

What can we learn from a ten-thousand-year-old sustainable agriculture system? What can be done to save the wild apple forests? Dr. Gennaro Fazio and Ethan Roland Solaviev will present photos and findings of their ongoing research, visits to Kazakhstan, and international collaborations.

Dr. Gennaro Fazio is a plant breeder and geneticist with the USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, N.Y., the location of the largest apple collection in the world. Dr. Fazio develops new apple rootstocks that are more productive and resistant to devastating diseases. Part of his research relates to propagation, grafting and understanding what wild apple relatives can do to improve apple production. His research team has characterized thousands of grafted and ungrafted wild apple trees including Malus sieversii from Kazakhstan.

Ethan Roland Solaviev (MSc) is an international expert onĀ sustainable agriculture. He is president of the Apios Institute, which is working with several Kazakh-based organizations to protect the wild apple of Kazakhstan and promote biodiversity in agricultural landscapes there. Ethan has taught sustainable agriculture in over 25 countries. His ecological consulting firm AppleSeed Permaculture has designed over 3000 acres of land here in the Northeast. He is now working on an ambitious project to preserve the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan.

This event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP athttps://rsvpuncommonground10082014.eventbrite.com. For questions, contact Kaitilin.Griffin@parks.nyc.gov or call 212-360-8240.