Many time we hear the phrase and think it’s just a proverb, but hey it is true. “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”
Apples have a good claim to promote health. They contain Vitamin C, which aids the immune system, and phenols, which reduce cholesterol. They also reduce tooth decay by cleaning one’s teeth and killing off bacteria. It has also been suggested by Cornell University researchers that the quercetin found in apples protects brain cells against neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.
Apples are one of the most popular, flavorful and healthful fruits grown in the world. Three-fourths of America’s population, both young and old, name apples as one of their favorite fruits for snacking. They are also great with meals. Apples are pre-packaged in nature’s own wrapper. Several servings of apples and apple products should be included in children’s diet every day to help build a healthy body.
Today, the science of apple growing is called pomology. Over the years many people have worked together to refine methods to produce the best formed and tastiest apples. It takes about four or five years for apple trees to produce their first fruits. Apple trees are grown on farms, better known as apple orchards. In spring apple trees blossom with fragrant, sweet smelling white flowers.
Core facts about Apples
- Apples come in many varieties– Apples come in a range of interesting flavors, offering a variety not available in most other fruits and vegetables.
- Apples are convenient– One of Mother Nature’s original fast foods, they can be eaten fresh, or processed as sauce, juice and slices.
- Apples are nutritious– Apples are a very good fruit for building healthy bodies.
- Contains no fat, and contains no saturated fat – helps reduce risk of cancer.
- Contains no sodium– helps reduce risk or high blood pressure.
- Is an excellent source of fiber– helps reduce cholesterol and may help prevent certain types of cancer.
- Has only 80 calories.
- Contains no cholesterol.
- Contains no artificial colors or flavors.
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COMMERCIAL APPLE PRODUCTION IN KENYA
Commercial apple production requires two essential preconditions: cold winters and relatively hot summers. Apples do well in areas with an annual rainfall of 800 to 1100 mm. Apples can do well in different soil types as long as the soil is deep, fertile, properly aerated and well drained. Sufficient soil moisture is desired during bud break and fruit set for proper fruit quality and yield. Most apple cultivars are not sufficiently self-pollinating; it is advisable to plant other cultivars that act as pollinators, these include winter banana, Jonathan and golden dorset. A spacing of 2-3m between plants and 3-4m from row to row is ideal. Soil and leaf analysis will offer great insights and will determine the fertilizer program to be adapted.
Some varieties of apples that are popular in the country include Winter Banana, Anna and Top Red, all of which are viable in Kenya’s climate. Apples grow best in sandy to sandy-loamy soils that run deep and drain easily. The recommended pH for the soils is 5.5, which is slightly basic. If you are not sure what kind of soil you have, you can send samples to laboratories for testing.
You can start with a few seedlings, lets say 10 plants. Assuming that one will give you 500-800 fruits within an year you have between 5000 – 8000 fruits that you can sell between 15 and 30 Shillings. This will approximately give you between 75000 and 120, 000 Shillings if you sell at Ksh 15 and between 150,000 and 240,000 if you sell at Ksh 30.
All you need to do is get out of your comfort zone and take that bold step. Order your seedlings today. Start early, plan well, and the returns are wonderful. Contact us or visit our offices today for more information.