Apple Day is an annual celebration of apples and orchards, held on 21 October in the United Kingdom. Apple Day events can be large or small, from apple games in a garden to large village fairs with cookery demonstrations, games, apple identification, juice and cider, gardening advice, and the sale of many hundreds of apple varieties. Apple Day was initiated by Common Ground on 21 October 1990 at an event in Covent Garden, London, and has been celebrated in each subsequent year. By 2000 the day was celebrated in more than 600 events around the United Kingdom Common Ground describe the day as a way of celebrating and demonstrating that variety and richness matter to a locality and that it is possible to effect change in your place.
The apple tree (Malus pumila, commonly and erroneously called Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It is cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.
Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production. Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.
Common Ground has used the apple as a symbol of the physical, cultural and genetic diversity we should not let slip away. In linking particular apples with their place of origin, they hope that orchards will be recognized and conserved for their contribution to local distinctiveness, including the rich diversity of wild life they support.
“Apple Day” is also the title of a song by UK songwriter Phil Baggaley formerly of Song writing duo Phil and John and founder of Gold Records. The song was sung by the now defunct Harbour Lights on the Album “Leaving safe Anchorage”. The song refers to the Cromford Apple Day – and likens the converting of old bruised apples into cider to spiritual renewal and invites the listener to participate with the words “I meet you down at apple day, come and bring the fruit that’s fallen, we’ll turn it into something new ..”