Today is National Apple Day. Since I live in Wenatchee, Washington, the Apple Capital of the World, it would be irresponsible of me not to share some fascinating information about apples with you.
Before I do, though, let me share a climate data map with you. This seems to be the perfect combination of temperatures for apples of many varieties to thrive in the spring and summer, go into winter dormancy, and come alive again in the spring. The desert climate, with an average precipitation of just over 9 inches per year, might seem an odd place for apple trees to thrive. Apple trees need lots of water.
The mighty Columbia and Wenatchee rivers are key players in feeding water to our multitude of apple orchards in the Valley. As a side note, lots of other fruit is grown in the Valley as well. These include pears, cherries, peaches, and prunes. Also, many vineyards have been added over the last decade or so.
As near as I can figure out the first apple trees planted in the Wenatchee area was in 1872 by Philip Miller, one of the first white settlers. The first commercial planting was in 1884.
Washington State produces slightly under 60% of the apples grown in the United States. 68% of those are for fresh consumption, with the rest going to juice, applesauce, and other processing uses. The total acreage planted in apples in Washington State is about 175,000 acres.
Did You Know:
- 25% of an apple’s volume is air. That’s why it floats!
- On average, Washington state grows 128 million boxes of apples per year. At 40 lbs per box, that’s 2.3 million TONS of apples!
- There are about 175,000 acres of apple orchards in Washington State.
- It takes the energy from 50 apple tree leaves to produce one apple.
- Washington Apple growers produce 6 out of every 10 apples consumed in the United States.
- At room temperature, apples ripen or soften 10 times faster than if they were refrigerated.
- The science of growing apples is called “pomology.”
- Washington Apples are exported to 60 different countries around the world.
- Archaeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples for more than 8,500 years!
- Apples contain no artificial colors or flavors.
- There are more than 7,500 different varieties of apples grown around the world. You’ll find only a handful of them at your local supermarket.
- Apples are fat-free and sodium-free.
- There are seven principal varieties of apples grown in Washington.
- Apples contain natural sugars called fructose.
- The average apple contains 5 seeds.
- Apples are picked by hand.
- Apples are harvested in Washington state each year between August and November. Advanced storage technologies mean that they’re fresh and available year-round.
- A medium-sized apple contains 5 grams of fiber, 20% the daily recommended allowance!
What is your favorite apple to eat?