Help James Martin in his campaign to resurrect British Apples: Buy an apple tree
Photo by gin soakJames Martin, the British celebrity chef, has started a campaign to get British apples back in British shops and supermarkets. I agree with his stance: it seems incongruous to me that the same varieties as grown in the UK are shipped thousands of miles from abroad, to be found on fruit shelves in supermarkets, when the British produce is in season.
However, this should not be limited to just the UK – local produce should be found in local supermarkets, all over the world.
James Martin has jumped on the bandwagons started by other UK celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, with fish and chickens, in chiding British shoppers to make supermarkets listen, by asking for specific products. But will these supermarkets listen? I think not, unless there is seen to be a specific chance that it will increase their profits; will stop shoppers purchasing elsewhere; or will entice shoppers to their shelves instead of those of the competition.
Now that the supermarkets have destroyed the livelihoods of myriads of local butchers, greengrocers, bakers and fishmongers, to the extent that, in my town, there are no butchers or greengrocers left and just one fishmonger and one baker. And this is in a town “catering” for over 40,000 people. And as for the health implications associated with BOGOF deals, well – is it time to say enough?
But back to the apple campaign. How can we, the consumers, help?
Buy Local Apples: Buy Native Apple Trees
Photo by quite peculiarWell, the first thing is to buy apples from the supermarkets that are labelled as British (replace British with your own country here). If there are none then each of us should ask for British produce. The more of us that do this the more likely the supermarkets will listen and start to stock British apples. If they take no notice, then vote with your feet and go somewhere that does stock British apples.
Another way is to buy British apple trees. If you are able, visit the UK National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent. This is a great day out. You will also be able to purchase rare varieties of apples, with a grafted tree, for your garden. You could also find out about any apple variety you have in your garden. If it is a rare variety it may be added to the collection. If it is a new variety you may even be able to name it yourself.
So, what is so great about British apples?
They will be so much juicier and fresher than those that have travelled thousands of miles to get to our supermarket shelves, especially when they are at the peak of their season. And the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are more likely still to be within the apple. And, of course, they are much more crisp and sweet than their foreign counterparts (but then I would say that wouldn’t I).
Photo by Rob WatlingSo, with over 650 varieties in the UK National Collection and many varieties in your local nurseries and Garden Centres, what better time than now to purchase an apple tree for your garden so that you can enjoy the fruits of your own labour, later this year.
If you would prefer to browse and buy on-line then below you will find some apple seeds and apple trees you can obtain through Amazon:
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