The poor weather of 2012, particularly the wet summer, was disastrous for the apple harvest. This year looks like being a bumper apple crop.
So why is there such a difference? Apples evolved in central Asia, probably around Kazakhstan. In order to flower and fruit really well they need to be grown in a continental climate of hot summers and cold winters.
The wild apple cultivar still growing in central Asia, Malus sieversii has recently been shown to be the ancestor of all modern apples. Unlike most domesticated cultivars, the leaves turn red in the autumn before they fall.
The hard winter followed by a late spring and a long warm summer has given the apples and other deciduous fruit the conditions they like to produce good fruits and plenty of them, although most are cropping later due to the late spring.
Michigan is usually the USA’s third biggest producer of apples and is likely to harvest 30 million bushels of apples this year, exceeding its 20 million average. This compares to 2012’s apple harvest of 2.7 million bushels.
The UK Bramley apple harvest is expected to reach approximately 67,000 tons in 2013, a 14% increase on 2012. Admittedly this is still not as high as earlier years although this is due to reduced orchard acreage rather than weather or climatic conditions.
The following facts are extracts from our new eBook “In Your Autumn Garden with Plews Garden Design”:-
“Apple seeds contain a cyanide compound. However, the tiny amount of poison is locked inside the hard seed coat and as the seed generally passes through your digestive system intact you‘ll be fine. But it’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of eating apple seeds.
In Norse mythology, Idun, the goddess of spring and rebirth grew magic apples that gave the gods immortality. The only problem with this is that apples as we know them probably didn’t arrive in Scandinavia until the late Middle Ages.
Etymologically speaking, the word ‘apple’ is rooted in the Indo-European languages,; appropriately so given where the fruit originated. The Romance languages, including Latin, originally used the Greek based word ‘malum’; the botanical Latin is ‘malus’. With the rise of Christian as the official religion of the Roman Empire from the 4th century AD and its symbolic importance of the apple, the word ‘pomum’ began to be used, meaning ‘the fruit of fruits’.
25% of an apple’s weight is air – which is why they float in water making apple bobbing a fun game at Hallowe’en.”
Enjoy your daily apple!
Marie Shallcross, Senior Partner, Plews Garden Design
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