Do you know where your nearest apple tree is? Maybe you have spotted apple tree branches hanging over someone’s garden fence on your walk to school? Are there many apples on it? 2022 has seen a bumper crop of apples. This is in contrast to 2021 which was a very difficult year for apple farmers. Climate Change and changing weather patterns are having an impact on harvests all round the world.
Young Climate Warriors are challenged this week to choose local fruits over imported fruits. To swap pineapple, mango, melon, grapes and oranges for apples, pears, blackberries, plums, maybe some late raspberries and redcurrants, or the exceptional ripe fig? Buying seasonal, local fruit can help cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change by saving energy used for growing out of season (e.g. heating greenhouses), longer-term storage and transportation. Can you see how many different varieties of British-grown apples you can eat this week? Can you be brave and try something new? Is it red, green, brown or stripy? What does it taste like – crisp or crunchy? Sweet or tangy?
Can you help a neighbour with their apple harvest? Enjoy twisting the apples off the tree, or shaking it to see which ones fall down. Don’t dismiss the ‘windfalls’: the apples that have already ripened enough to fall to the ground. Are they like a ‘stroke of luck’ – an unexpected extra? You might need to cut off the bruises or cut out the insect holes – but there is often still lots of great ‘apple’ within it! When you need a break from picking, why not find a comfy spot underneath the tree and look up at the canopy? What autumn colours can you see? What does the bark feel like? Can you hear any birds, insects or animals? If you breathe deeply, can you smell the apples?
How many different ways can you come up with to eat an apple? Slices, sticks, rings or cubes… dipped in peanut butter, cream cheese or melted chocolate…. scattered on your favourite breakfast cereal… added to cheese on toast. Maybe you like to munch an apple straight from the bowl… or could you make an apple crumble to share with your family? If you want to take apple slices to school, you can dip them in a mixture of 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water to stop them from going brown.
Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this challenge and swapped imported fruits for home grown fruits! Please do share photos of your apples with us - for the YCW Gallery.