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Apples & Pears: Week 33 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

Apples and pears are now growing fat on the trees ready for this years harvest. Apples and pears grow world wide but in our humble opinion the best are here in Britain. There are hundreds of varieties yet the supermarkets only stock 12, and recent news shows that some apples may be a year old by the time we eat them!

Each variety has its purpose from eating straight from the tree like a delicious russet with its strange rough skin to a tart bramley perfect for chutney or apple crumble.

Did you know:

  1. Apples are a member of the rose family.
  2. Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber.
  3. Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
  4. Apples originated on the border of Kazakhstan and China.
    No bees, no fruit?

    No bees, no fruit?

  5. Before tobacco was introduced in Europe, pear leaves were smoked.
  6. There are over 3000 varieties of pears grown around the world.
  7. There is mention in the Domesday Book of old pear trees as boundary markers.
  8.  Pears were used as a natural remedy against nausea in ancient Greece.
  9. Pear wood is used to make furniture, musical instruments, and wood carvings. It is also used to make wooden kitchen utensils because it doesn’t impart any color or odor to the food and because it is tough enough to withstand repeated trips through the dishwasher without splintering or warping. Architect’s rulers are made from pear wood because it doesn’t warp.
  10. When you eat a pear, your body absorbs glucose, which is converted into energy. Eating a pear can be a great pick-me-up if you feel sluggish in the afternoon.

Every community should really have an orchard and apple press, after all ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. As most communities have a farm shop it seems to make sense to make the shop that centre. Especially if locals are encouraged to switch from the supermarket to buying from the shop and even growing produce to sell in the shop, with our Crop for the Shop scheme, or cooking to swap food at the shop on special food swap days.

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Switch from the supermarket? YES, we must. Perhaps not completely at first, try the local butcher or farm shop every week, (using our local food map) and the supermarket once a month for washing stuff, loo rolls, etc. You should save money, get better food and encourage more local production.

So the next time you visit your local farm shop mention apple day, crop for the shop and food swaps. If they are keen and not on BigBarn please tell them to contact us.

If you have a favourite apple or pear recipe then why not share it for a chance to win a prize? Please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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