What do you think of when you think of apples?
Perhaps the following come to mind:
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
“You are the apple of my eye.”
“One bad apple can spoil the bunch.
For me, I immediately think yum: apple pie, apple crisp, apple tarts, baked apple, applesauce, even a crisp juice eating apple.
My love for apples has grown over the past year as I began helping an elderly couple whose lives have revolved around apples.
Henry, 96 years young, is a third generation apple farmer. His two sons are now fourth generation apple farmers. Even now, Henry stays involved in the world of apples keeping a check on the weather forecast as tender vulnerable apple blossoms bloom. He is sought out by his sons and neighboring apple farmers for his wisdom and knowledge related to apple farming. Henry still gets in his little red truck and drives through the orchards to check on the apples himself.
Martha, Leo’s 90 years young wife, grew up surrounded by apple orchards, but began her world of apple farming 67 years ago when she married Leo. Martha can talk about apple farming almost as well as Leo. She also tracks the weather watching out for potential threat to the apples. Marth’s main role with apples is in the kitchen where she still makes applesauce throughout the year and as well as delicious desserts which include apples.
Henry and Martha have taught me a lot about apples. I have learned about planting the trees, varieties of apples, and harvesting and storage of apples to name just a few things.
One day, I asked Henry how old an apple tree was before it quit producing apples. He
replied, “We don't know. See that tree out there?” as he pointed to a lone tree standing a distance from the orchard behind it. “That tree was planted before I was born, so it’s over 100 years old. It’s still producing apples.” he said.
The apple orchards surrounding Henry’s and Martha’s home are part of their family. Years of growing and eating apples have made Henry and Martha the individuals they are today. They eat an apple every morning without fail. There must be something to that quote, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” they are both still healthy and vibrant individuals.
What’s your favorite apple? What’s your favorite way to enjoy apples?