Celebrate Apples with Apple Day
21 October is officially ‘Apple Day’ in the UK and has been since 1990. Its founders wanted to create an autumn national holiday that celebrated this most commonplace fruit.
They were struck by the fact that there are over 8000 varieties of apple, yet people were eating the same few names stocked by the supermarkets. Have you seen a ‘Nutmeg Pippin’ or a ‘Knobby Russet’ on the shelves of your local convenience store recently? Probably not.
And 70% of the apples sold in the UK are imported, despite it being seen as a quinissentially British fruit.
So Apple Day was created to celebrate local orchards and advocate supporting locally grown and sold fruit.
There’s a lot to love about the humble apple! Here are five apple facts to get your juices flowing…
- A year round harvest
Apples are traditionally associated with Autumn, but different varieties crop at different times, from as early as July to as late as December. With 2,300 varieties available in the UK, and with clever storage, it’s possible to eat UK-grown apples throughout the year.
- The love fruit
In Ancient Greece, apparently throwing an apple represented a proposal of marriage, and catching signified acceptance! In more modern times, superstition holds that if you peel an apple in one long strip and throw it over your shoulder, the peel will reveal the initial of a future partner.
- A surprising family
Apples belong to the rose family! Its scientific name is Aplicus Rosacea. Rosehips look like little apples, so maybe it’s not that surprising.
- They’re old
Apparently humans have been eating apples since around 6500 BC. Apples are thought to originate in the Kazakhstan region.
- They’re poisonous!
Apple seeds contain the naturally occurring toxin cyanide. But don’t worry because humans can tolerate the small amounts contained in the seeds so they don’t pose much of a threat (though best avoid eating them)!
Apple Day events take place all over the country over late October and early November. The National Trust has a list of apple-related events their properties are hosting here.
And if you’d like to see what’s growing locally to you, check out this list of community orchards.
If there’s nothing happening near you, here are some ways you can have fun celebrating apples this Autumn:
Why not host a bake-off with friends to see who can create the most delicious treat? Crumbles are fun for even the littlest hands to help out with.
The traditional game of floating apples in water then taking turns to try and catch them in your teeth is guaranteed to get everyone giggling (and wet!).
Apple Day was created to remind people of the importance of connecting to nature and valuing our local natural resources. So perhaps the best way you can mark the occasion is by enjoying a walk in the woods, park or meadow then having a lovely crunchy apple as a snack!