Friday, 18 March 2016

Stories from my apple tree;

 When I was growing up  in Switzerland, Apples were the fruit to eat every day.  We took an apple to school, to eat at recess. After school, when we returned home at 4 PM we were given an apple to satisfy our hunger until dinner was served.  From early autumn into early spring, apples were available until the last apples stored in the cellar were eaten.  Oranges and mandarins came from Sicily and were  available only at Christmas time as a special treat. We did not have Bananas or other tropical fruit. Later I lived in a prominent apple growing area in Switzerland. We planted a private apple orchard with many old varieties.Later, new owners did cut down all the fruit trees. They thought it was easier to go to the shops and buy apples.

Apple blossoms

Not  that many years back there were majestic trees in the fields. In the same area today, all are culled, cut down to make room for strawberry fields and some other plantations.

Early History of Apples in Australia. 

I pack the apples to protect them  from all sorts of hazards. The fruit fly is a big menace, it lays the eggs into the apples and makes them  inedible. Cockatoos destroy many fruit in one go.

The first apple tree was planted in Tasmania by Captain Bligh in the 1700’s. Apples were among the first fruit to be  introduced to Tasmania by the early settlers. Planted around the homesteads  were a part of a near subsistence economy. From the 1820's on surplus was exported to new English settlements throughout Australia. By 1860  there were already 120 varieties of apples produced in Tasmania. Concentrated in the urban and suburban fruit gardens of Hobart in the South and Launceston in the North. From 1860 to 1890, fruit production in Tasmania moved from the northern to the southern areas and commercial orchards were established.

Tropical apples;

 By 1883 there were 552 orchards in the Huon which gave the district a dominant position to  production and  quality of apples.  The growers of specialized commercial apples obtained  good prices in British colonial markets in the 1870's and early 1880's. A  great incentive was the beginning of successful apple shipments to England in 1876. Overseas exports in the 1880s were aided by a regular steamship service between Britain and Australia and secondly the adoption of refrigeration. The first shipments to Germany were made in 1901. With the changes to Australian trading regulations, Act of Federation in 1901,  inter-colonial duties and tariffs were removed and interstate trade increased to over one million boxes annually. Commercial plantings reached a peak in 1915 when Tasmanian orchards contained 4,420,000 apple trees. Tasmania now exports Apples to over 20 countries. 

We established a small orchard before the house was finished.

The girls sitting under a young apple tree.

©Photos/Text Ts Titania - Everyday.


  1. The new owners cut down the apple trees???? What were they thinking??? Apart from that it was a great story.

    1. diane b I guess not much! there were, wlanuts, prunes, many different plums, greengages, peaches, cherries, pears, all cut down for lawn!

  2. Heart those bountiful little apples trees in the last pic! Is the tree with apple blossoms (2nd pic) one of those trees in the 'small orchard"?

    1. Stephanie; the one with the blossoms is in my orchard here. The trees in SWL were already fairly well grown trees, bearing lots of apples, when we left. Like I said unfortunately they were not cherished by the new owners. Some people do not and did not see the value of home grown produce.

  3. Hello Trudi, how wonderful to read your story. Apples were expensive for us when we were growing up. But my parents grew one tree which bore three apples before it died. This was so exciting for us because apples do not survive in our climate. In our markets they still come from the colder regions in northern India, mainly Kashmir and Himachal.
    It hurts to think that people can actually cut down fruit-bearing trees. I loved seeing the pictures of your trees and your girls under an apple tree. The blossoms are really beautiful!

  4. Kanak, thank you for your lovely comment. Remember our blogging time and Blotanical! Here in my subtropical climate it is also marginal. There are some tropical apple trees bred and around now. But the apples are not for keep, quite nice so. You probably did not need apples, I guess you had other fruit and plenty of variety as I see in your cooking blog; Blending flavours,