hunter/gatherer societies invent agriculture and begin to "settle"
in places throughout the "fertile crescent" from the Nile through
the Tigris and Euphrates, the Indus, and Yellow River Valleys. As
both trade and military expeditions begin among these earliest
civilizations, dessert apples quickly spread from the
forests of their origin in the Tien Shan mountains of eastern
Kazakstan throughout the "civilized" world. Each
settlement seeks to embellish their "paradise" or pleasure grounds
with the most tempting apples of the forests. Previously isolated
gene pools from some of the 25 distinctly different species of
apples found throughout the world are now brought in contact with
each other and gene transfer among apple species occurs.
of apples are found among excavations at Jericho in the Jordan
Valley and dated to this time period.
Li, a Chinese diplomat, gives up his position when he becomes
consumed by grafting peaches, almonds, persimmons, pears and
apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of
Enrichment", part I, chapt. 4.
apple slices are found on saucers in the tomb of Queen Pu-Abi at Ur
near Basara, in Southern Iran, linking royalty to the irresistible
seduction of apples.
B.C.—A tablet found in northern
Mesopotamia records the sale of an apple orchard by Tupkitilla, an
Assyrian from Nuzi, for the significant sum of 3 prized breeder
sheep. Hittite Law Codes specify a three shekel penalty for anyone
allowing a fire to destroy an apple orchard.
Odyssey recounts the memory of his fruit orchard to his aging
"12 pear trees bowing
with their pendant load,
and ten, that red with blushing apples glow'd". . .
and later tells about
how King Tantalus was "tantalized" by the unreachable
"fruit over his head: pears, pomegranates, sweet figs, apples and
historian and essayist, Xenophon is so inspired by walled fruit
gardens throughout the Persian empire that he establishes one on his
own estate in Greece. He then proceeds to
coin a new Greek word from the Persian pairidaeza, or walled
garden, later becoming the Latin paradisus, and finally the
describes 6 varieties of apples and discusses why budding, grafting,
and general tree care are required for optimum production and says
seeds almost always produce trees of inferior quality fruit.
emerges from a localized dialect in Central Italy to a full and
precise language still used in biology, law, medicine, and religion.
The Latin "Fruor" meaning "I delight in" is the source
of our word "fruit".
poet Horace notes that Italy has nearly become one big fruit orchard
and the perfect meal begins with eggs and ends with apples. Apples
moved west with the rise of the Roman empire as the Romans adopted
the apples and orchard skills of the Greeks and Persians before
them. They proceeded to carry apples to the far reaches of the Roman
Empire including continental Europe and the British Isles where
previously only crab apples were known. They even created a
deity of the fruit trees, the goddess Pomona. Like the Persians and
the Greeks, the Romans and many cultures since have responded to the
basic human longing for a time and place where men and women are
free from the battle with nature for food and shelter. This place is
normally symbolized by a garden of paradise and pleasure complete
with fruit laden trees featuring apples.
author, statesman, and philosopher urges his Roman countrymen to
save their apple seeds from dessert to develop new cultivars.
Agricultuaralists and naturalists concur.
Columella, a Spaniard living in Rome, an early fruit tester and
stickler for quality noted that each fruit seedling was a new and
unique cultivar "none to be kept for a long time unless approved by
experiment", an otherwise post-Linnean conclusion. To illustrate his
point he adapted a verse from Virgil:
It serves no end
their* numbers to describe,
The man that's fond of this laborious task,
With equal ease, may learn how many sands,
By western winds are tossed in Libyan plains.
(*i.e. seedling cultivars)
the Elder in his Natural History describes 20 varieties of
Greek physicians living in Rome, Galen and later Hippocrates,
recommend sweet apples with meals as aids to digestion and
sour apples only for fainting and constipation.
Jerome, founder of Monasticism, tells his monks to spend more time
grafting and budding fruit trees "to escape sloth and the devil".
Koran, codified by Caliph Utman hails fruit as a sublime gift of
sacred Shiite drama is written by a secret society of Moslem purists
featuring the death of Mohammed in which he inhales eternal life by
inhaling the scent of an apple an angel had brought him. Curiously,
many centuries earlier, Aristoteles was said to have kept death away
by holding an apple and inhaling its life sustaining fragrance.
Finally and consciously he drops the apple thus releasing his soul.
Medical School of Salerno teaches the therapeutic value of apples
with regard to disturbances of the bowels, lungs and nervous
Magnus of Cologne, bishop, naturalist, and influential philosopher,
agonizes in his De Vegetabilibus over whether a fruit tree has a
soul. Albertus' then novel philosophy is that the only way to
advance knowledge of nature is by searching for nature's hidden
principles rather than by relying on the writings of others, however
venerable. Discarding the scholastic concept of fruit as a
ready-made product of creation, Albertus held that cultivars
developed from wild forms, centuries before Darwin draws similar
conclusions about the origin of species.
Fall of Man, a painting by the popular and highly respected Hugo
Van Der Goes, in clear detail of both leaves and fruit, depicts an
apple tree in the biblical Garden of Eden complete with Adam and Eve
and the Devil. Thereafter artists everywhere choose apples for the
Garden of Eden, even though the apples were no doubt borrowed from a
similar creation story in Greek mythology, causing apple demand
among illiterate Christians to plummet. Among learned Christians,
e.g. in the monasteries and royal courts, apples continued to
Lawson of Yorkshire, writes A New Orchard and Garden, the
first book in the English language about the practical aspects of
apple growing. He is more often quoted on his sensual observations.
"All delight in orchards". "For whereas every other pleasure fills
some one of our senses, and that only with delight, this makes all
senses swim in pleasure". "What can your eyes desire to see, your
ears to hear, your mouth to taste, your nose to smell that is not to
be had in an orchard, with abundance of variety." Two mottos appear
on the title page; "Skill and paines bring fruitful gaines" and "No
man is an island". Lawson who believed orcharding offered the best
of business and pleasure had a profound influence on the Lynd family
Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground and, wondering why
it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of
gravitation and motion.
Von Linne, founder of organized Botany, revealed his contempt for
horticulture when he said "All our fruit trees are a result of
Man's interference and, therefore, unworthy of the attention of even
the lowliest botanist". Agriculturalists groaned. Naturalists
Andrew Knight of England begins the first controlled apple
hybridization program for apple improvement. Agriculturalists
are charmed and naturalists are alarmed.
apple a day keeps the doctor away",
proclaimed J.T. Stinson in an address to the St. Louis Expositon.
Bunyard, author of "The Anatomy of Dessert", comments on apples and
the 6th sense "the crunch
is the thing, a certain joy in crashing through living tissue, a
memory of Neanderthal days".
apple breeding program is initiated jointly at Purdue and the
University of Illinois using F2-26829-2-2 the largest and
highest quality apple known at the time to have resistance to the
big three diseases of apples, fireblight, scab and powdery mildew.
It came from a brilliant, out of the box, cross made by Dr. C. S.
Crandall at the Univ. of Ill. earlier in the 1900s who crossed Rome
with Malus floribunda 821, a pea sized crab apple that was
highly resistant to all the major diseases of apple.
great Alar hoax is perpetrated on the public as a scare tactic for
fund raising by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Apple demand
falls to zero as the media rushes to report one sensationalized
story after another about harmless, nearly non existent chemical
residues on apples. Perception overrides reality and the U.S. apple
industry goes into a steep economic decline. It is the year of peak
apple production for Lynd Fruit Farm Inc. at 240,000 bushels. The
consequential losses were enormous.
at Cornell University used a "gene gun" to successfully
transfer an anti-bacterial gene from a Cecropia moth to a fireblight
susceptible apple tree. This gene transfer from an animal to a plant
enabled the tree to develop its own fireblight resistance and trees
made from buds or graft wood from this tree also had blight
resistance. Bio-tech as demonstrated could save the apple industry
and consumers millions of dollars. Agricultualists are charmed.
Naturalists are alarmed.
world's first large scale commercial planting of naturally
disease resistant apples is planted at Lynd Fruit Farm, on Morse
Rd., Pataskala, Ohio. The trees then known as HER4T16 are later
elevated to "Co-op 38" and finally named Goldrush. It is the first
large scale application of the breeding program begun early in this
century at the University of Ill. Agriculturalists and naturalists
Lynd named Apple Grower of the Year by the American Fruit Grower
Magazine and the U.S. Apple Association from over 9,000 apple
growers in the U.S and Canada.
Lynd and co-founder Ed Fackler start the Mid West Apple Improvement
Association, a group dedicated to breeding disease resistant late
bloomers to naturally escape fire blight, scab, powdery mildew,
cedar apple rust and late spring freezes thus reducing the use of
fungicides, antibiotics, and orchard heating. Agriculturalists and
naturalists applaud and chemical companies cringe. Land grant
colleges of agriculture are in a bind because increasingly their
funding comes from pesticide manufacturers instead of the people
through taxation and charitable giving.
at the University of California discover powerful new anti-oxidants
Moments in Apple History by Mitch Lynd