National Johnny Appleseed Day occurs annually on March 11. This event commemorates the life of American nurseryman and conservationist John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. Appleseed was a folk hero who introduced apple trees to vast portions of the United States. His story has been widely mythologized as a children’s folk tale, leading many to query whether he actually existed. Nonetheless, he is revered as a figure whose apple tree plantations helped transform America’s natural and agricultural landscape.
The background of National Johnny Appleseed Day
To truly understand who Johnny Appleseed was, we must first examine the legends. John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Massachusetts. Following his apprenticeship with a local apple orchardist, he first developed an affinity for apples. This experience motivated him to travel west to share his apple knowledge and plant as many trees as possible. Extremely religious, he saw his efforts to plant apple trees as a means to combat world famine.
The most prevalent misconception about Johnny Appleseed is that he travelled across the United States on foot, distributing apple seeds wherever he went. In reality, Appleseed adopted a more appropriate approach by establishing tree nurseries on land he purchased. When he travelled, he would entrust the maintenance of the nursery to a neighbour or friend.
Appleseed is also credited with planting apple trees throughout the United States. In reality, he planted trees primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia. It is believed that he planted apple trees on more than 100,000 square kilometres. However, the apples that grew on his trees were not the commonly consumed delicious variety. They were predominantly the small, sour apples used for cider production. Many American pioneers lacked access to pure drinking water during their travels, making apple cider an essential beverage.
During his lifetime, Johnny Appleseed was known as an eccentrically dressed, shrewd businessman who had an aptitude for predicting where pioneer settlers would settle and establishing nurseries in these areas. His exploits quickly spread, and a legend was born. Appleseed is regarded as an important historical figure in the United States. This is due not only to his agricultural labour, but also to his efforts in facilitating migration and altering the natural landscape.
NATIONAL JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY ACTIVITIES
Enjoy fruits however you like.
National Johnny Appleseed Day is a celebration of apples themselves. There is no better way to celebrate the apple than by savouring its sweet, distinct flavour, whether consumed whole or used in a variety of recipes (such as pie, cobbler, and cakes).
Make and consume some apple cider
If you prefer your apples in liquid form, you could celebrate the day by brewing and drinking apple cider. Appleseed’s apples were primarily used to make apple cider during his lifetime, so making some yourself is a suitable way to honour his legacy.
Watch the film that elevated his reputation
“The Legend of Johnny Appleseed,” an animated animation from Disney’s 1948 film “Melody Time,” immortalised Appleseed’s legend. This holiday is a wonderful occasion to view the film and appreciate how much it has influenced our understanding of his legend.
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5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT APPLES
The apple that Isaac Newton used to define gravity, Eve’s “forbidden” apple, and, of course, Steve Jobs’ Apple brand are among the most prominent apples in history.
Apples can levitate because they contain 25 percent air.
There are between 7,500 and 8,000 apple varieties in the world, of which 2,500 are cultivated in the United States.
At ambient temperature, apples ripen eight to ten times more rapidly than when refrigerated.
A typical apple contains approximately 80 calories.
NATIONAL JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY DATES