Apple trees originated in the Middle East over 4,000 years ago and have been cultivated in the UK since roman times. So why have we only been celebrating Apple Day since 1990?
Apple Day was launched by the charity Common Ground to “create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday, both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too.”
Since the Second World War orchards have been demolished to make room for intensive agriculture, new roads and housing and this destruction continues. So, if you haven’t already planted your own apple tree or bought some locally grown fruit now is the time.
On 21st October let’s celebrate the apple and munch on a crisp fruit, bake an apple cake and enjoy a glass of cider. Here’s some interesting facts to help whet your appetite:
– Approx. 7,500 varieties of apple are grown worldwide.
– The UK National Fruit Collection at Brogdale has over 30 acres of orchard and 2,300 apple varieties.
– Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free.
– Apple types include dessert, culinary and cider.
– Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan.
– In 2007 the UK apple market was worth £115million but only 31% of the eating apples sold were grown in the UK.
– Apple pips taste bitter and contain small traces of cyanide – not enough to be dangerous!
– Apples range in size from tiny crab apples to huge cookers and come in all shades of green, red, yellow and orange.
– An average apple is about 80 calories.
– Apple trees reach maturity and start to fruit when they are 4 to 5 years old.
– Apples float on water because their volume is 25% air.
– When Adam swallowed a mouthful of apple it got stuck in his throat, hence the name Adam’s apple.
If you’d like to know more about Apple Day, the charity Common Ground and the project to create Community Orchards do visit http://commonground.org.uk/projects/orchards/