A short history :

Why "Les Croqueurs de Pommes" ?
                                                                         (Apple Crunchers)

In the early 20th century :

Whether in town or country, markets offered hundreds of varieties of different fruits, of local origin. Palatable, wholesome fruit, with a wide diversity of flavours.

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 :

Shops 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.

The essential purpose and inspiration of "Les Croqueurs de Pommes" is to amplify this new awareness.

Fruit 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 varieties
        - learn to care for your fruit trees

With this goal the association :

       - organizes annual sessions of initiation in trimming, pruning and grafting
       - organizes technical visits to orchards
       - from September to November, organizes or participates in numerous fruit growing shows
       - organizes, in February, a graft swapping session.