Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The apple is the king of fruit, the cause of the fall of Man, as British as the Queen, yet our supermarkets are full of cheap, imported, bland French and New Zealand varieties that travel 12,000 miles, with only one or two English ones – a Cox or Bramley, probably. There are 2,000 varieties of apple in Britain, and while I'm not suggesting supermarkets should stock them all, they could at least show a little patriotism – for the environment if nothing else. Some have great names like Hoary Morning, Winter Banana, Laxton's Rearguard, Pigs Nose Pippin and Surfleet Sour. Yet our apple trees are disappearing at an alarming rate. People don't pick them. People would rather buy bland apples from the bland supermarket. As I write, apples all over the country are falling on the ground, left to rot. Recently we picked three different varieties in a space of half a mile – all tasting completely different (and delicious) – but most of them were left to rot on the ground. Farmers destroy orchards because they get more money from cattle on the land. As usual, the government is short-sighted, and profits go before anything else. One day, in the not so distant future, we will all probably be trying to live off the land. An apple a day would be good.

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