Saturday, April 11, 2009

Johnny Appleseed

I was hoping to get my new apple trees in today but the stock isn't in yet. It got me to thinking about Johnny Appleseed who was famous in these parts.

Johnny Appleseed was a legendary American who planted and supplied apple trees to much of the United States of America. Many people think that Johnny Appleseed was fictional character, but he was a real person.

Johnny was a skilled nurseryman who grew trees and supplied apple seeds to the pioneers in the mid-western USA. Appleseed gave away and sold many trees. He owned many nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, where he grew his beloved apple trees. Although he was a very successful man, Appleseed lived a simple life. It is said that as Johnny traveled, he wore his cooking pot on his head as a hat!

Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.

Johnny Appleseed’s dream was for a land where blossoming apple trees were everywhere and no one was hungry. A gentle and kind man, he slept outdoors and walked barefoot around the country planting apple seeds everywhere he went. It is even told that he made his drinking water from snow by melting it with his feet.

Johnny was a friend to everyone he met. Indians and settlers -- even the animals -- liked Johnny Appleseed. His clothes were made from sacks and his hat was a tin pot. He also used his hat for cooking. His favorite book was the Bible.

There are many tales about Johnny Appleseed. It is said that once Johnny fell asleep and a rattlesnake tried to bite him, but the fangs would not go into his foot because his skin was as tough as an elephant’s hide. Another tale describes him playing with a bear family.

Johnny died at the age of 70; it is said it was the only time he was ever sick. He is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling to spread his precious trees around his country.


  1. Several years ago I experimented with making cider. I farmed a couple very old places kind of off the beaten path. Those fields had very old apple trees. Some were quite tart. The old-timers said they were cider apples and that everyone made hard cider in the old days. The story is that they would fill an oak barrel with apple juice as the juice fermented they would drink it. By summer it would be apple cider vinegar, just in time for making pickles.
    In the winter they would let some freeze and drink what didn't. Called it applejack...
    I put a fruit jar in the refrigerator and forgot about it. Found in when it had a little pressure behind the lid. Was really quite tasty. Not very high alcohol content.
    I tried the freezing idea. Got a teaspoon of the most vile tasting stuff you could imagine.
    But the point of the story was that they said Johnny Appleseed planted a lot of tart apples for making cider as the cider was really quite useful.
    Just what I heard.

  2. That is what I heard too, Budde. You know I could see a man doing what Johnny did. Wasn't a bad life, was a life he chose helping people. Sounds like a very good life for him. Some seek fame and money, some seek vocations. I think that was a pretty good vocation! Getting closer to turning my vocation into high speed, any day now, just one streak of warm weather and no rain and away we go.

  3. Got seven fruit trees planted yesterday in the rain. Got to find a Fuji to plant in the last hole. Will have to write a blog on this. Liam loves those apple trees like dad and me.