Our featured apple this month is Granny Smith, an Australian apple with a great story.
Maria Ann “Granny” Sherwood-Smith was born in Peasmarsh, Sussex, England in 1800 and emigrated to Australia with her husband Thomas Smith when she was 38 years old. Late in her life Maria had a compost pile stacked up with the pulpy remnants of some French Crab apples. The French crab tree had been pollinated by an unknown tree in the area. From the seeds in this compost sprang the now famous “Granny Smith” apple. Maria did not live to see how popular her tree would become. She passed away two years before people started grafting the tree in earnest. By the end of the century the apple was winning awards and being cultivated all over the world. The apple is famous for its tangy refreshing taste and firm coarse texture. Granny Smith apples are recognizable the world over. Because of the trees adaptability to various climates and the fruits ability to withstand lengthy time in storage it has become one of the world’s greatest commercial varieties. To this day a festival is held in Eastwood, New South Wales, Australia to commemorate the life and achievements of Maria Smith drawing in 100,000 people. We grow this heritage apple at Wagon Wheel Orchard not just because of its hardy nature but because it has a rich story with an incredible legacy.