Apple Day: A Brief History of The Apple
Okay, it was bad news for Snow White, but for most people, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. It must be because an apple’s high potassium and low sodium content promote heart health. Or maybe it’s because it regulates your blood sugar and provides anti-cancer protection with antioxidants like quercetin. Or maybe it’s because its fibre content helps to keep cholesterol levels low. Or perhaps it’s just the pleasure of biting into that sweet, juicy flesh.
The Brief History Bit
Apples originate in central Asia, probably Kazakhstan, and there are more than 7,000 varieties in the world. Here in Scotland, we can lay claim to around 40 varieties, but sadly you’ll find very few of those in the shops. Industrialisation and cheap imports have led to a steady decline in apple production in the UK since the 19th century.
To counter this decline, Common Ground, a charity based in Dorset, founded Apple Day in 1990. Every 21st October, they encourage us to celebrate the importance of apples in our landscape, ecology and culture and highlight the dangers of losing our indigenous varieties.
The Orchard Project
The Orchard Project is a national charity dedicated to creating and restoring community orchards. You can find out more about them here:
Here at Edinburgh Napier, our dedicated team of volunteers work hard on the Lions’ Gate project to enhance the biodiversity of our campuses and contributing to the University’s environmental sustainability strategy. As part of this strategy, they’ve planted an orchard at our Craiglockhart campus. Why not visit it next time you’re on campus:
You don’t have to wait until the 21st of October to celebrate apples. We recommend eating one a day. Our challenge to you is to source a different apple variety for every day of the year. Autumn is the perfect time to start. We’d love to hear how you get on.
By Lesley McRobb
Check out our blog post on the Lion’s Gate garden