One of our most colorful and much-loved American legends is Johnny Appleseed. I just recently googled his story and thought you might like to hear it.
Believe it or not, he was an actual person, whose real name was John Chapman. Born in 1774 in Massachusetts, he was the son of a farmer and revolutionary war soldier. His mother died of tuberculosis during the war.
Beginning in his youth, he spent much of his time apprenticed to an apple orchard, learning all about apples.
That spawned a dream in him to travel to the American frontier and plant apple trees for profit and to give away, so that communities in the regions could grow and have apples as part of their food supply.
Chapman was a very plain spoken man who lived a very simple life and loved to live off the land. It’s said he wore clothes made of potato sacks and used a cooking pot for a hat. Can you imagine?
So, for nearly 50 years, he planted apple orchards in the wilds of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia and Kentucky, anywhere he thought towns might spring up. Today, these are rich apple growing regions. He died of pneumonia in 1845 at the home of a friend and is buried in Indiana.
Next time you eat an apple, think about this legendary frontiersman and how he seeded and spread his apple trees around the country so people could enjoy this great tasting fruit. Hmmmm... now, I’m in the mood for apple pie.