Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association

Books Review – Spring 2002

March 23, 2002

By TAMI SCHLIES

 

Tall and Tasty Fruit Trees by Merideth Sayles Hughes  80 pages

 

This book is actually a children’s book I found while at the library with my kids.  Being the fruit fiend I am, I picked it up to flip through and ended up checking it out!  It has sections on Apples, Peaches, Mangoes, Figs, and Citrus.  The author discusses each fruit’s origins, how it came to America, its Latin name, growing needs, recipes, health facts – you name it!

She even talks about how certain varieties came about.  For example, the apple variety “Ginger Gold” was the result of the 1969 hurricane in Virginia, which produced a tiny new apple tree in Ginger Harvey’s orchard.  The nursery owners nurtured it and came to realize the spicy new apple was worth grafting and cultivating.

Did you know that citrus fruits are actually a type of berry called a hesperidium?  The ones in our grocery store are sprayed with ethylene gas to make them evenly orange.

Peach orchards often have roads paved with peach pits, the pits glued together naturally by the bits of fruit left clinging to them after processing.  You can easily peel a fresh peach by dipping it into boiling water for 30 seconds, then cold water for 30 seconds.  The skin will slip right off!

For those of you who are lactose intolerant, figs carry a ton of calcium – as much as a half a glass of milk!  And did you know that pectin, a fiber in apples, helps maintain even blood sugar levels and may even help lower blood cholesterol levels?

These are just some of the interesting facts in this short book.  The articles are very basic, but any of you who work with kids in any way might find this an interesting resource to check out from the library.  The author also has a website at www.foodmuseum.com.