The apple is a fruit called a pome, related to pears and quinces. There are over 7,500 varieties grown throughout the world with over 2,500 varieties grown in the United States. Apples come in all shades of reds, greens and yellows and range in size from as small as a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. The largest apple on record weighed slightly over three pounds. Apples are members of the rose family.
The fruit is actually the swollen base of the apple flower. If you look closely at the bottom on an apple, you can still see the original petals of the apple flower there, dried and brown. The next time you see an apple blossom, look at the very base and imagine the apple that will swell up there in a few months.
to CAMP Focus
What It Is
In winter the apple tree rests. Some of the buds on the branches will grow into flowers as the weather warms up.
Apples harvested from an average apple tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each. Apple production in the United States averages about 250 million cartons (at 42 pounds each). Nearly all of these apples are picked by hand. Apples are grown in all fifty states but are grown commercially in 36 states. Of the 2,500 varieties grown in the U.S. 100 varieties are grown commercially. Apple orchards cover over 450,000 acres of land in the United States.
Sweet nectar and the scent of the petals attract honeybees to the five-petal apple flowers. In the course of collecting nectar, the bees pollinate the flowers. The outer wall of the ovary develops into the fleshy white part of the apple. The inner wall of the ovary becomes the apple core around the seeds.
During summer or fall, the apples ripen. Eventually, the tree cuts off the food supply to the apples, and the apples become sweeter. A few weeks later, the apples are ready for harvest
The apple parts are in fives. If you cut an apple across the middle (not through the stem but the other way), the seed pockets will reveal a hidden star in the center of your apple.
You can “bob” for apples because they are 25% air inside.
Honor the energy of the workers who picked, sorted, packaged and transported this apple.Taste the energy of the bees that pollinated the flower that grew into your apple.
Listen to the crunch of the apple and how that sound changes as you chew.
Sense the energy gathered by 50 apple leaves, now stored in your apple.
Honor the time it took to produce just one apple. The tree itself had to be at least five years old to begin bearing fruit. If you were to raise this fruit on your own, you’d have to wait at least five years until your tree began to produce fruit.Reflect on the sacrifice of future apple trees, as the seeds in your apple will likely never germinate.
Also reflect on the sacrifice of other trees that went into making the cartons in which apples are shipped.
Because they keep and store so well, apples can be moved long distances to market. Consider that your apple came from a distant orchard and see its journey to you.
When You Eat...
United States consumers eat an average of 45 pounds of apples each year. 61% of this is eaten as fresh fruit and the remaining 39% as processed products (juice, cider, applesauce). The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Globally, China, France, Italy and Germany are major apple producers.