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John­ny Apple­seed didn’t need shoes.

Bonus points if it’s a glass of crisp apple cider!

You remem­ber John­ny Apple­seed, right? He was this super rad guy who decid­ed to roam the wilder­ness with noth­ing but a tin cup for a hat and a bag full of apples. He roamed the great land of Amer­i­ca eat­ing apples and plant­i­ng the seeds wherever he went. He didn’t wear shoes, and was one with nature. He had feet so durable that he was once bit­ten on the foot by a rat­tlesnake and just shrugged it off.

John­ny Apple­seed was the Father Christ­mas of the fron­tier. Except instead of presents, he just gave out apple seeds. And also he didn’t just come one night a year. And also, he didn’t real­ly wear a red coat or any­thing. Okay, so may­be not Father Christ­mas.

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There was at one time a real John­ny Apple­seed Stamp!

The very best part about the leg­end of John­ny Apple­seed is that it is a sto­ry about a real per­son. John Chap­man start­ed his jour­ney at age 18 (around 1790!). He would col­lect apple­seeds for free from cider hous­es and plant nurs­eries of apple trees in the wilder­ness so that when the pio­neers arrived they wouldn’t have to wait ten years for their first har­vest. (Because it takes Apple trees about 10 years to pro­duce fruit.) He spent about 50 years trav­el­ing the north­east­ern and mid­west­ern Unit­ed States. (they weren’t quite unit­ed at the time, clear­ly.)

There is, of course, one VERY big dif­fer­ence between the myth and the truth: The apples trees that John Chap­man plant­ed were not for pro­duc­ing deli­cious crisp apples for eat­ing. No. At the time, apple’s main pur­pose was to form the hard cider that was the most com­mon drink at the time. you know… instead of water. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a time where you just drank hard cider all the time?? YUM.

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John Chapman’s memo­ri­al in John­ny Apple­seed Park, IN

 

Accord­ing to some, there is one tree left alive that was plant­ed by John Chap­man. The tree is about 180 years old and lives in Nova, Ohio. Sad­ly, many of the oth­er apple trees from Chapman’s time were cut down dur­ing Pro­hi­bi­tion. The FBI was like, what? The­se apples aren’t for eat­ing? they’re just for alco­hol? Well I guess we’ll have to destroy this whole acre to keep you all from break­ing the law. Jerks.

 

 

When I was young, we cel­e­brat­ed John­ny Apple­seed day at school buy bring­ing apples to eat for lunch. Now that I’m old­er, I get to cel­e­brate the REAL way: with a cold glass of Hard Cider.

Cel­e­brate respon­si­bly, folks! No Rat­tlesnake bites are nec­es­sary! 

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Cheers!

 

So, what do you think?