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Apples

  • Date Submitted: 02/20/2015 11:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.7 
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A Brief History of Apples in UK
Research in the early part of the 21st century indicated that all sweet apples arose originally in a small area of Tian Shan on Kazakhstan's border with China. It is likely that they gradually spread into Europe through the Middle East and several manuscripts from ancient Greece, including Homer's Odyssey, refer to apples and describe apple orchards. There is evidence that apples grew wild in Britain in the Neolithic period but it was the Romans who first introduced varieties with sweeter and greater taste. The earliest known mention of apples in England was by King Alfred in about 885 AD in his English translation of "Gregory's Pastoral Care".
After the Roman occupation of Britain, many orchards were abandoned due to invasions by Jutes, Saxons and Danes. However, following the Norman Conquest improved varieties were introduced from France, which included the Costard. Orchards were developed within the grounds of monasteries and the raising of new varieties was undertaken by cross-pollination. The orchards of the monastery at Ely were particularly famous. Gradually, more orchards were cultivated and by the 13th century the Costard variety was being grown in many parts of England. Sellers of this apple were known as "costardmongers" and hence the word "costermonger".
The Wars of the Roses and the Black Death led to a decline in the production of both apples and pears in England until Henry VIII instructed his fruiterer, Richard Harris, to identify and introduce new varieties, which were planted in his orchard at Teynham in Kent. At about the same time, the red skinned Pippin was introduced from France but the most common apple in Tudor times was the Queene.
Until the agricultural revolution of the 18th century, methods of raising apples and pears were relatively haphazard. Towards the end of that century Thomas Andrew Knight undertook a series of careful experiments in pollination which led to the development of many improved...

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