Autumn is prime apple time. It seems fitting, then, that John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) was born in the fall on September 26th, 1774. He was a humble Christian nurseryman from Massachusetts. Although poor for most of his life, Johnny got to know thousands of folks. He read the Bible to many of them because he could read and they could not. As Johnny headed west across the frontier as a missionary planting spiritual seeds, he also planted many apple seeds. The seeds and saplings that he gave away to local Indians and settlers helped to build the orchards of the Midwest. Johnny continued planting apple trees till he was well into his 80′s. By the time he went home to be with the Lord, he had planted over 100,000 acres of trees.
Johnny always cut his apples in half across the middle of the apple, telling the people, “There’s a little bit of heaven in every bite.” If you cut your apple like Johnny did, you will see the star shape in the middle of the apple made by the seed pattern. Eat an apple today in memory of Johnny Appleseed!
See also: http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfk/apples.html for apple recipes, activities, books, and links to apple-themed unit studies and lesson plans.