National Apple Museum
Biglerville, PA 17307
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Early History
of the
Apple Industry
in Adams County

 A is for apple

Comparing Apples and Oranges...

Preliminary Activities

 apple crates

What is an apple anyway?
To us, an apple is a delicious, crunchy, sweet, juicy fruit that comes in its own edible package. To the apple tree, it is a means for survival. The apple contains the seeds of the plant which are used to propagate the species. Animals that eat the apples may spit out or expel undigested seeds with the feces (which happens to make a good fertilizer), finding a new home for another apple tree.

What is a fruit?
A fruit is a seed or seeds of a plant together with the parts in which the seeds are enclosed. Technically a fruit is a ripened ovary of any flowering plant or angiosperm. Fruits not only refer to apples and oranges, but nuts, peas, tomatoes, peas, a grain of barley, a cotton boll, and coffee beans.

What is the difference between fruits and vegetables?
To the botanist, fruits refer to any seed-bearing plant, to the horticulturist, fruits are products of perennial plants; that is, they are trees and plants that produce fruit for a number of years. Vegetables are annuals that grow from seed and produce fruit in a single season.

Where are fruits grown?
Fruits are classified by growing region into temperate, subtropical, and tropical. Yet, where does this classification come from?

 zones  An ancient system: The Greeks, realizing that temperature was related to latitude, developed a type of climatic classification dividing the earth into frigid, temperate, and torrid zones. The frigid zone refers to the polar areas above the Arctic Circle and below the Antarctic Circle. Two temperate zones exist; one in the Northern Hemisphere between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer; and the other in the Southern Hemisphere between the Antarctic Circle and the Tropic of Capricorn. The torrid zone exists between the two tropics. This classification system does not take into account factors other than temperature and climate that affect fruit growth. Not only temperature, as the Greeks had determined, but precipitation, soil type, and day length determine if a species can survive in a given zone.

Biomes: In 1900 a climatologist named Wladimir Köppen developed a classification system that based climatic regions on world patterns of vegetation and soils. Modification of this system divided the world into tropical, subtropical, cyclonic, polar and highland climates.

Fruit growing regions: Fruits are classified into temperate, tropical, and subtropical growing regions. If you use the ancient Greek system definition of temperate and torrid (tropical), you may also add to that Köppen¹s subtropical climate boundary, that lying between 20 degrees and 40 degrees latitude, to help define the growing areas.

The apple along with the grape, pear, plum, peach, apricot, and cherry are considered temperate-zone fruits. Apples can grow farther north than any other tree fruit. Subtropical fruits include oranges, limes, grapefruits, lemons, figs and avocados. Tropical fruits include pineapple, coconuts, and bananas.

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The Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society
and The National Apple Museum
154 West Hanover Street - P.O. Box 656
Biglerville, PA 17307-9442 - Telephone: 717-677-4556

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