Grafting is a common practice with many trees and is especially important to the apple growing industry, but what is grafting? It is what happens when tissues from one plant are joined with the tissues of another so that they grow together. Usually, one plant is selected for its roots and the other for its stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits. Grafting is done for a number of reasons, including speeding up the growing process, creating hybrid plants and trees, repairing damage, and strengthening the hardiness, sturdiness, or pest and disease resistance of a tree. Sometimes several different trees will be grafted onto a single tree to create what is called a “family tree.” For example, a single backyard apple tree could have several different varieties of apple blooming on it by using this method of grafting. For more information on grafting, click here, and to see a step-by-step guide of how it is done, click here!
Nothing is more important to the making of caramel than sugar! Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are only present in enough volume for extraction in sugarcane and in sugar beets. Sugarcane has been cultivated in Asia since ancient times, with large scale expansion taking place in the 18th century with the establishment of sugar plantations in the West Indies and Americas. This was when sugar became more readily available to common people, as before the 18th century honey was generally used to sweeten foods. Sugar beets wouldn’t become a major source of sugar until the 19th century, when better methods for obtaining sugar from them were developed. Currently, the world produces about 200 million tons of sugar a year and each individual American consumes about 130 pounds, compared to an average of around 50 pounds per person for the rest of the world. Find out more about sugar here!
Rarely do we think of apples in terms of numbers, well at Daffy Farms we do, but that’s because we use a lot of apples! Throughout the world there are over 7,500 different varieties of apples and around 2,500 of them are grown in the United States alone. The only variety native to North America is the crabapple. Out of all of the different kinds of apples only 100 varieties are grown for commercial use. Apple trees grow and thrive in all 50 U.S. states, but only 36 house commercial apple growing orchards. Learn more about apples and numbers here!
The Granny Smith apple originated in Australia in 1868. It was cultivated by Maria Ann Smith, who emigrated with her husband, Thomas Smith, to Australia from England in 1839. Maria and Thomas purchased a small orchard in 1855 and though there are different tales, it seems the first Granny Smith seedling grew by chance. Soon after the accidental tree began producing apples, Maria learned that its fruit was green in color, sweet and crisp, and great for cooking and storing. She would go on to sell her apples at Sydney’s George Street Market once a week, where they quickly became popular and known as “Granny Smith’s apples.”