Little Bits of History

Apple Day

Posted in History by patriciahysell on October 21, 2013
Apple Day

Apple Day

October 21, 1990: The first Apple Day is held in Covent Garden, London. Sue Clifford and Angela King founded Common Ground in 1983. The two environmentalists remain Directors of the UK charity and lobby group. Their mission is to promote “local distinctiveness.” Rather than the flamboyant or rare causes championed by other conservation groups, the women concentrated efforts on the commonplace, everyday possibilities for increasing environmentally sound practices. After the Great Storm of 1987, they advocated for cautious clean up efforts to give nature a chance to recover by herself.

Local produce, rather than imported food, became the groups next focus. The richness and variety of home or locally produced foods were symbolized by the apple. Common Ground chose the fruit to act as a reminder to Britons to think and act locally. The apple tree also led to a greater appreciation of nature’s resources. Orchards were precious commodities and deserved protection against rampant expansion. Community orchards could and should be protected and Old Orchards venerated as valuable assets.

Apple Day continues to be celebrated. The event has gained momentum and strength to become a weekend event. The date shifted from October 21 to the weekend closest to the date or in some areas, any time in the last half of the month. Communities engage in large or small celebrations usually held in gardens. There are games and cooking demonstrations in a fair-like atmosphere. Gardening advice is shared. And there are hundreds of varieties of apples along with apple juice or cider to drink.

The first week in December finds another chance to honor trees. Tree Dressing Day was also initiated by Common Ground in 1990. It encourages the celebration of trees. The idea is to show Every Tree Counts and is beneficial to all. The Tree Manifesto maintains that all trees should be protected. Ancient woodland trees are irreplaceable, for trees – life begins at 400. Trees are essential to the carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle. Paper should be recycled, saving the precious trees. Planting trees and hedgerows benefits us all, but should be done with thoughtful care, making sure the proper tree is given the proper home.

“First I shake the whole [Apple] tree, that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf.” – Martin Luther

“The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse, how he shall take his prey.” – William Blake

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” – Carl Sagan

“Goodness comes out of people who bask in the sun, as it does out of a sweet apple roasted before the fire.” – Charles Dudley Warner

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: People have worried about the environment and advocated for better use of resources for quite some time now. There are days, weeks, years, and even decades set aside for this. Special days throughout the year are noted from February 2 (World Wetlands Day) through December 11 (International Mountain Day) along with some days moving around the calendar. All of these special days can be either worldwide, national, or local in scope. The weeks cover issues from Bike to Work Week Victoria to World Water Week in Stockholm. The first International Polar Year was 1882-1883 while the last dedicated year was 2011 with celebrations around the International Year of Forests. We are currently in the midst of the decade known as United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. While environmental issues cover everything from Climate Change to Waste, and not everything has time dedicated to it, there are many working towards helping Mother Nature recover from the harm brought on by humans.

Also on this day: Suicide Pilots – In 1944, the first kamikaze attack took place.
USS Constitution – In 1797, the ship was launched.
Disaster – In 1966 the Aberfan disaster took place.

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