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BigBarn apples and pears week

Head down to your local farm shops and you should find a huge varieties of apples and pears. If you look further afield and perhaps go foraging you’ll find even more. There are around 7,000 varieties of apple yet our plastic riddled supermarkets will stock around 12 varieties, including many from abroad.

Apples are very diverse with varieties for different uses; 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. Some varieties even improve if stored naturally for 3 months.

Needless to say, it wouldn’t be a food week at BigBarn without our facts, so 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.

    Bumper crop of apples

  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 colour or odour 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.

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

One thing that we’ll keep pushing for is each community having a local orchard and apple press to make juice or cider.  Most doctors agree that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, as most communities have a farm shop they’d be the perfect place to sell them and have an annual apple day.

A switch from the supermarket is a must, but why not hunt down some of your veggies or meat this week? Try the local butcher or farm shop using our local food map and then use 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 the BigBarn map 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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