September 26th Johnny Appleseed Day

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Mass. in 1774. He is famed for spreading the apple industry across America and showing the importance of the fruit.

appleseed-first-depiction

His practice started in Warren, Pa. on the Brokenstraw Creek where he planted a small orchard and fenced it off.  He left the field to neighbors allowing them to sell off shares of the fruit harvested from the trees. He would return every year or two to tend to the fields and reap whatever profits he could get. He traveled across Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and what would become West Virginia.

johnny-apple-seed-day-applebasket-jpg

In fact, he made a great deal of money using others to do his work while he continued to travel and own numerous apple orchards, all fenced in and operated by neighbors. He looked the part of a beggar, often going shoeless, though he could well afford them.

johnchapman

In many ways he is a true American hero.  He did create an industry and helped many people around him, though he really did not care for people all that much. He was also an Evangelists, though his people skills left few transformed by his vision.

jchapman1

He did, however, have one true love in life, animals.  He would often go without in order to make sure the animals around him were taken care of.  Few wild animals ever threatened him while most befriended him.  He was, more-or-less the Doctor Doolittle of his time.

How to celebrate – Have an apple in honor of Johnny Appleseed. Plant your own apple tree and see if you can get it to grow. Go to an orchard and pick your own apples.

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