The apple – superstar of fruits.
Its triumphal procession began in western Asia thousands of years ago. The Kazakh capitol Alma-Ata still bears testimony of that fact – “Alma” is Kazakh for “apple” and “ata” means “grandfather”. For many ages, apples have been quite exotic merchandise in Eurasia, unaffordable for ordinary mortals, but just right to serve as burial gifts for Pharaohs and awards for Olympic champions (776 B.C.). It was a symbol of wealth, power, love, fertility, life, knowledge and dispute. Even when apples began to ripen in Europe’s monastery gardens over a thousand years ago, they were reserved for clerical and secular lords. That explains why the apple plays such an important role in many fairytales. If it had been an everyday fruit in Snow White’s days (Middle Ages), the fair maiden would probably have thankfully declined the poisoned snack.
In the 17th century it dawned on nobility that fruits could help to feed the population. Because well-fed subjects are easier to rule, peasants were ordered to plant fruit trees on their meadows to help to achieve self-provisioning. Modern monarchs like Frederick the Great in Prussia and Augustus the Strong in Saxony, enacted ordinances requiring newlyweds to plant fruit trees for their own consumption. The number of varieties of apples was increasing fast, and every region and almost every village had its own kind, that could not be found anywhere else. The reason for that: old trees produced offspring with new features. If one of these coincidence seedlings was discovered by the wayside, at the edge of a forest or in the corner of a garden it could be propagated and spread. All old varieties of apples originated that way.
It was not before the 19th century that apples really became an economic asset, because growing cities created a rising demand for fruits. It suddenly paid to own apple trees. People started to plant like crazy. More trees meant more coincidence seedlings and these were sought and found and cultivated. In 1880 – Edison had just invented the light bulb – there already were more than 20,000 kinds of apples world wide. In other words: The Industrial Revolution caused a rapid rise in the number of apple varieties. At the same time traditional fruit farming - meadows with mixed orchards and tall trees that took many years before they began to bear fruit - could not satisfy the rising demand anymore...
Throws from this UPPERCASE Merino collection are knitted in Germany from 100% virgin wool. To be exact, it is Merino wool extrafine - the finest sheep have to offer. The soft feel in combination with the clear loop structure makes Merino wool the ideal fabric for this kind of expressive graphical design.