Why apples of mountains are famous ?

Why apples of mountains are famous ?

Apples are definitely the most important fruit in the mountains because the cooler climate there is perfect for growing apples. People eat them fresh and also used them to make things like apple cider vinegar, applesauce, apple jam, and apple chutney. Some kinds of apples last a long time, so if you store them right, you can have "fresh" apples for several months. 

Eating sweet, juicy, and fiber-rich apples reduces the risk of many diseases because it is not only digestive but also reduces weight. You must have heard how many health experts talk about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. It is also beneficial for the heart. Although there are many varieties of apples, the mountain apples are considered the most delicious and nutritious in the world. Let's know the reason for this.

What makes Himalayan apples unique?

Apple trees need a cool temperature during their resting period. The temperature and number of hours required depend on the type of apple. Apples need enough cold weather hours, usually between 400 to 1,000 hours when temperatures range from 32°F to 45°F (0°C to 7°C) during the winter when they're not growing much. This cold time is really important for them to grow well and develop fruit. 

Therefore, the cold temperature of mountain regions is suitable for growing apples. The optimum temperature for fruit blossoming and setting for apple crops is 22 to 24 degrees. Increased sun exposure at higher altitudes also affects the sweetness and flavor development of apples. 

Soil also plays an important role. A good quality apple requires soil that drains well and water regularly. Slightly acidic soil, with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is perfect for better quality. 

Here, in Uttarakhand agriculture depends on rainfall. Mountain rainfall patterns and snowmelt contribute to creating ideal moisture conditions for apple trees. There are unique varieties of Himalayan apples that are not found elsewhere. Apples grown in mountains are crispier, tarter, or sweeter compared to those grown in lowlands.

Significance of Apples for Mountain Communities

Apple cultivation remains a major source of livelihood and means of financial security for the people of the state. The farmers here supply apples to the country and abroad. Many women entrepreneurs are working with us to make products like organic apple fruit jam, apple cider vinegar, apple chutney, etc.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

The Himalayan atmosphere and ecosystem make it easy to adopt sustainable farming practices. Sustainable apple-growing practices minimize negative environmental impact on mountain ecosystems. Also using drip irrigation systems can help water apple trees directly at their roots, reducing wasted water from evaporation or runoff.

History of Mountain Apples

After a hundred years of effort by the people of Uttarakhand, apple orchards now support thousands of families' livelihoods.

High mountains and fast rivers are part of the hill culture of Himachal and Uttarakhand, but apples are now considered vital to the well-being of the hill states.

It is counted among the main crops of the Himalayas along with other temperate fruits like peach, apricot, pear, and walnut.

As the British established their presence in many aspects of Indian life, the apple became a signature legacy of the British in the Himalayas.

Attracted by the hills, the British gradually brought apples to their kitchen gardens in Kumaon, Garhwal, and other parts of Himachal.

Missionaries established a garden in the Nainital district of Kumaon in the 1850s. Soon, the gardens also spread to the Almora region and many temperate parts of Kumaon.

Yet, it is the unique story of FE Wilson that gives the Uttarakhandi apple a distinct identity just as American Samuel Stokes spread the apple in the hills of Himachal. This led to growth in the local economy and forever changed the subsistence economy of the region.

Effects of Changing Climate 

Nowadays, the warming of temperature and decrease in rainfall are affecting apple cultivation. Apple growing conditions in the region have been consistently shifting and farmers are shifting their orchards to the higher altitudes. To stop this change, Nirvana Organic is focusing on increasing sustainable farming practices in collaboration with the communities and women farmers.

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