the early 20th century :
in town or country, markets offered hundreds of varieties of different
fruits, of local origin. Palatable, wholesome fruit, with a wide diversity
Orchards were everywhere, around and in villages. In city suburbs, vast
areas were dedicated to horticulture (e.g. ; the peaches of Montreuil).
Everyone knew, more or less how to prune and graft. Old trees were regularly
replaced. The rich patrimony was improved and developed by exchange.
Enlightened amateurs lovingly maintained collections of fruit trees.
They formed the core of the numerous and animated "Learned Societies"
(the French fruit growers association, associations dedicated to botany,
natural history, local emulation…). There were around 5 000 varieties
of apples !
At the end of the 1970's :
propose only three sorts of apples : one yellow - Golden Delicious,
one green - Granny Smith, and one red - Starking. These American or
Australian strains, cultivated elsewhere than in their native soil,
are weakened, and require various treatments that are harmful to the
environment. Orchards disappear. The increasingly urban population is
only familiar with fruit in supermarkets that disdain local produce.
However, it seems that there is a new awareness of flavour and quality.
Consumers are once again anxious to discover the richly varied savours
of products with regional character.
essential purpose and inspiration of "Les Croqueurs de Pommes" is to
amplify this new awareness.
trees are not eternal. Many old orchards are neglected. For this reason,
older , local varieties die out. To offset this impoverishment of the
patrimony, "L'Association des Croqueurs de Pommes du Bocage Gatinais"
proposes that you :
discover former, local Gatinais varieties
- make them known
- reintroduce them
- learn how to graft
them (even on old trees)
- plant well-tried local
- learn to care for your
this goal the association :
organizes annual sessions of initiation in trimming, pruning and grafting
- organizes technical visits to
- from September to November, organizes
or participates in numerous fruit growing shows
- organizes, in February,
a graft swapping session.