He was born John Chapman in Leominster, MA on September 26, 1774. He was a nurseryman who understood the need to supply seeds and seedlings to this new country called the United States of America. In order to ensure the stability of all the newly established homesteads, there was actually a law that required each settler to plant 50 apples trees in the first year. With little or no transportation available, a good apple crop was a practical necessity in these early settler's diets. Johnny was a kind, generous, and deeply religious man who carried the bible with him wherever he traveled. He sold and even gave away trees to the American pioneers. He was also one of our nation's first conservationists. While nobody knows for sure, it's believed that Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman died on March 18, 1845 at the age of 74 after traveling for more than 50 years!
Apple Fun Facts!
Apples may be the most widely grown tree fruit in the world today, with about 80 million tons grown every year. China is the leading producer of apples, the US is second.
Apple trees originated in Asia and may have been the first fruit tree to be cultivated. They have been grown in Asia and Europe for thousands of years and were introduced to the US by European Colonists.
There are thousands of different kinds of apples worldwide. Granny Smith apples originated in Australia in 1868 by accident after a chance seedling by a woman named Maria Ann Smith.
The apple was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and it has also played a role in Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology, and many other religious traditions.
Apples are "self-incompatible" meaning they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. Apple growers often use pollinators such as honey bees to carry pollen. We place about 100 beehives in our orchard for up to 2 weeks during the bloom season.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" dates from 19th century Wales. The original phrase was, ‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” In the late 19th and early 20th century it evolved to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay” and “an apple a days sends the doctor away,” The wording most of us use today was first recorded in 1922.
Apple trees in the orchard are not planted from seed, but rather saplings which have been grafted to proven rootstock. An apple tree has a productive life of between 12 and 20 years, and some may begin producing fruit in their second season.