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Saturday, March 09, 2013

RIP Maria Ann Smith

Wednesday, March 9, 1870. : Granny Smith (on the left, I think), who gave her name to the Granny Smith apple, dies.
Granny Smith is a variety of apple with green skin and tart flesh, originating in Australia around 1865 from a chance seedling propagated by Maria Ann Smith, aka Granny Smith. Granny Smith was born Maria Ann Sherwood in Peasmarsh, Sussex, England, sometime in late 1799. The daughter of an agricultural labourer, she later married a farm labourer. They emigrated to New South Wales in 1838 after being recruited by government agents looking for people with agricultural skills. They settled in the district of Ryde, Sydney, which was an intensive fruit growing area. The Granny Smith apple came about when 'Granny' Smith discovered a seedling apple, which had developed from the remains of some French crab apples grown in Tasmania, growing by a creek on her farm. It was not commercially developed in her lifetime, but the apple continued to be cultivated by local orchardists.

Maria Ann Smith died on 9 March 1870 and was buried in St. Anne's cemetery, Ryde, where her headstone can still be seen. The year after her death, in the 1891 Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show, the 'Granny Smith seedlings', as they were known, were awarded the prize for the best cooking apples.
Granny smith and cross section.jpg
Doctors recommend Granny Smiths, and some scientists say they should be chosen over other apples because of their high level of antioxidants

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