Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Apples And Johnny Appleseed.

Apple, Red, Fruit, Ripe, Harvest  I love apples.  I eat them as much as I can.  I prefer them straight as part of my lunch, sometimes dipped in peanut butter but more often I just enjoy them. 

Years ago, I bought my parents an heirloom apple tree.  I don't remember the type but I do remember that just after I gave it to them, they moved from Texas to Washington state where it sat in a shed over the winter and ended up struck by frost.

Dad still planted it and with luck, it grew and blossomed.  Every year, he got a crop of apples in the spring.  When I was in college, I drove to a town a few hours away and brought back  bushels of apples all stashed in the back.  When I got back, I sold the ones I didn't need off to friends, paid for the gas and time, and made a bit of money. 

Do you remember hearing about Johnny Appleseed when you were in school?  I do.  They said he would wander through the west with a pan on his head while wearing a flour sack and pass out apple seeds here and there.  The stories make him sound like a strange old man but that isn't exactly the truth.

Johnny Appleseed's real name was Johnny Chapman.  He was born in Mass during the American Revolutionary War.  He was actually an orchardist and nurseryman.  According to the homestead law, a person could lay claim to land by making it into a permanent homestead.  One way to meet the law, was to plant an orchard of fruit.  He used this law to his advantage by laying claim and planting small tart apples.

These apples were grown for use in making hard cider or apple jack.  This made the apples more valuable than eating ones.  Once these orchards had grown and ready, he'd sell off these tracts of lands to settlers making quite a profit on the deal. When he died at the age of 70, he still owned 1200 acres of land.

He was a vegetarian and animal rights activist due to his religious.  These same beliefs kept him from grafting limbs to his trees which lead to him only planting apple seeds.  He did carry a sack of apple seeds with him as he traveled.

He did not become famous until after his birth and entities like Disney down played his being a businessman.  Furthermore, the prohibition hurt the countries apple orchards when the FBI went into to cut down any trees that could be used to make illegal alcoholic beverages like hard cider.

There is one of his original trees still growing in Nova, Ohio.  He is credited with helping create new varieties because his trees had a chance to grow and adapt to their situations.  It appears it can take up to 15 years to get an apple tree from seed to producing.

Enjoy and remember Johnny Appleseed was a businessman who traveled the frontier making his money. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow We have a pigmy apple tree that gives us a crop of apples every end of summer. It took just 2 yrs to start bearing fruit. We love it. But they do attract a lot of flies and other bugs so we loose as much as we get to eat in terms of lost apples. Thanks for sharing at the Pit Stop!