A Beginner’s Guide to Apples Planting – Growing – Harvesting – Preserving - Preparing
For all of those who have grown up on the aphorism of an apple a day keeps the doctor away, they are not going to find it surprising that since ancient times, Apples have been considered to be The Fruit of the Gods. Norse gods were given a daily diet of apples in order to help them keep their youth and beauty by the goddess Edda.
It was one of the tasks of Hercules in Greek mythology to obtain the Golden Apples of Life in the Garden of Hesperides. In the same way Paris was asked to judge between 3 goddesses, Aphrodite, Athena and Hera on the general theme of who is the fairest of them all. Aphrodite bribed him with Helen – the most beautiful woman in the world – and he awarded her the Golden Apple of beauty. And so, fate brought about the 10 year Trojan war with the gods and goddesses taking sides in the activities of men.
Wild apples are supposed to have originated in Asia, – especially in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan area – where you can still find them growing. wild today. The domestic variety was then taken from Central Asia by nomads to other parts of Europe, Asia and grown in gardens and orchards. European colonists took the apple from Europe to America in the 15th century. But before that these apples were a major part of ancient Greek, Norse and Scandinavian history.
For millenniums people in Europe and Asia survived harsh winters by subsisting on apples that they had picked in autumn. Even now, in many parts of the world, these apples preserved just above freezing level are a major part of the winter nutritious daily diet.
Crab apples are native North American apples, also called Common Apples. Apple growing is a multibillion dollar industry today in many parts of the USA, thanks to Rev. William Blaxton who planted the first apple orchard in Boston somewhere around 1625. Colonial farms at that time got their seeds from traders from Europe.
So, this book introduces you to growing one of the most popular and well-known of fruits, which has been grown all over the world longer than any other fruit.
The largest producer of apples in the world is China, followed by the USA, Turkey and Italy.
You, like Johnny Appleseed,1 are going to cultivate apples from seeds or as rootstock, depending on whether you want large apple trees – from seeds – or dwarf plants – from root grafts –.
Different cultivars are grown, depending on the use to which they are put, whether for commercial purposes, or for cooking or for making cider. Johnny Appleseed did not like grafted Apple trees. He planted trees of which the fruit was turned into cider. Wild apples can easily be grown from seed, even though grafting is a popular method of growing them today.
You are going to start getting your Apple harvest within 5 years of planting and this is going to continue for the next 20 – 25 years, depending on the apple tree variety. Apple trees are among the most long living of fruit trees, and they can live up to 70 to 80 years. So as long as you are planting Apple trees every 3 years or so, you are not going to run out of apples anytime soon.
So enjoy fresh and juicy apples straight from your own backyard, Live Long and Prosper!
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