Monday, July 26, 2010



Archaeologists have stumbled upon the carbonized remains of the apple pertaining to the Iron age in a few prehistoric lakes of Switzerland. They also came across evidence which confirmed that apples were eaten by people of the Stone age as well. The apple tree is believed to be the oldest cultivated trees in the world, however, its exact origin is not known. Some historians believe that apple trees were first planted and cultivated by the Romans, and that the fruit's origin can be traced to South Western Asia. While on the other hand, some believe that apples originated in Kazakhstan in South Central Asia.

In the 13th century BCE, Ramesses II (Egyptian Pharaoh) ordered for apples to be cultivated in the Nile Delta region. Further, apples were also cultivated across the Rhine Valley region, and around 35 different types of apples were cultivated by the end of the 1st century CE. When the English colonists came to the US in the 1600s, they found only the crab apple variety. They also noticed that the orchards produced lower number of fruits because the number of honeybees were less. So they shipped apple tree cuttings, seeds and beehives all the way from England to the US in early 1622. Once the shipment arrived, the English colonists immediately started planting apple orchards.

Historians also mention about a man named William Blackstone, who brought a bag of apple seeds along with him from Europe into Massachusetts, USA. He is known to have planted apple orchards on Beacon Hill in Boston as well as Rhode Island. In 1632, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop was gifted the Conants Island in Boston Harbor. In response to this generous gift, John promised to plant an apple orchard on the island and also pledged to give a fifth of the fruits produce every year to the governor, whoever he may be. By the 1640s, apple orchards were well established across the US.

The first commercial apple tree nursery, called William Prince Nursery was opened by Robert Prince in 1737 in the US. This nursery consisted of exotic varieties of plants and trees brought from across the globe, and was a prized nursery. In 1775, the Britishers (time of the revolutionary war) who occupied the Long Island, New York prized the nursery so much that they even went forward and appointed an armed guard to protect it. Further, in 1789, George Washington (first US president) along with the his vice president and some others visited the William Prince Nursery. However, George Washington was not impressed by the garden and stated that the shrubs in the nursery were trifled and the flowers were few.

Then there is the legend about 'Johnny Appleseed' that Americans hold onto so dearly. The popular folk hero's actual name was John Chapmen (1774-1845), a farmer whose desire was to cultivate so many apples that nobody would sleep hungry. He traveled from one land to another planting apple orchards and is believed to have traveled approximately 10,000 square miles of the Frontier country to fulfill his dream. He would dry the apple seeds, put them in bags and give them to passersby (heading West) he met. He devoted his entire life towards the 'apple cause' until his death in 1845.

In the early 20th century, another man named Sydney Babson had also devoted his life to planting apple orchards. In 1960, he was awarded the title of "Orchardist of the Year." By 2004, 130 billion pounds of apples were cultivated across 91 countries covering over 13 million acres of land, with 35 states from the US producing apples worth $1.76 billion. Today the apple is the most widely cultivated fruit tree in the world, with China as the leading producer of apples followed by the US at secondplace.Some of the other leading producers are Iran, Italy, France and Turkey. (


Apple Fruit contain vitamins like Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, iron and potassium etc., The Vitamin C content may not be as good as Oranges but apples have very high mineral contents, pectins, malic acid which are good in normalizing the intestines. Apple Fruit is good for treatment of anaemia, dysentery, heart disease, headache, eye disorders, kidney stones and promotes vigour and vitality. Apple juice is good to overcome a liverish feeling, further, apples are unlikely to cause allergic reactions and are excellent means of providing essential fluids to the body.

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