Proof
The Man Who Traveled a Thousand Miles for an Apple
Meet Tom Brown, who has spent the last 22 years in search of the Junaluska apple.
08-12-2021
Kevin Pang

It’s sort of expected that as you grow older, your interests become more eclectic.

One of my recent hobbies is making homemade chili oil. Nowadays, my kitchen is in a perpetual state of smelling like chiles. I’m fixated on figuring out the right ingredients, proportions, cooking temperature, and timing. 

Sure, I get some delicious chili oil at the end, and it tastes great over scrambled eggs and roast chicken. But the end product isn’t the goal. The pleasure comes in the process—the meditative act of making and tinkering. 

This week’s episode of Proof is a story about both the journey and the destination. Reporter Claire Donnelly introduces us to Tom Brown, a North Carolina man who for the last 22 years has searched for a lost variety of apple called the Junaluska.

Just how serious is Brown about his hobby? He’ll wake up at 2 a.m. to go apple hunting.

If you enjoy road trips, apples, and beautiful varietal names such as “August Queen” and “Buckeye Beauty,” this episode of Proof is for you.

Listen now on your favorite podcast players.

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Radio Public

Photo: Miho Suzuki, EyeEm, Getty Images

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