The Apple of Our Eye

Erica Goodman Harvesting ApplesApples are known for keeping the doctor away as well as for their delicious flavors! From sweet to tart, apples have no bounds in our appetites. However, like other farm-fresh produce, America’s apple obsession is being threatened by the loss of farmland.

The conversion of farmland to shopping centers, highways and subdivisions is having a disproportionate impact on the states that produce the bulk of fruits and vegetables for the United States. Farms closest to our cities, and directly in the path of development, produce much of our fresh food. A shocking 91 percent of our nation’s fruit production is in the path of development. In fact, view our “Apple as Planet Earth” video for a great demonstration of how much of the earth is suitable for farming.

Apple orchards also aid in safeguarding habitats for a variety of wildlife. Trees of all kinds provide environmental benefits, including their ability to absorb carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen, thus helping to decrease the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Clearly, there are many benefits to protecting farmland and the bounties it provides, and just as many ways to save your favorite fruit! To celebrate Apple Month in October, Peeled Snacks has a special offering of their delicious American Farms Sampler of dried fruit snacks—including “Apple-2-the-Core,” which is sourced from growers in North America—with 10 percent of each purchase going directly to American Farmland Trust to support our work to save the land that sustains us. (The sampler is being offered at a special discount this month!)

Other then buying locally sourced snacks and fruits, there are some other ways to get involved with saving farmland. The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation offers grants and workshops devoted solely to getting more fruit trees into our communities. The Farmland Information Center is a wonderful research source for farmers and community residents to find information on saving local and regional farmland.

Next time you bite into your favorite apple, take a second to think about the land where that apple came from and then imagine a world without apples and orchards. Check out our list of “Seven Ways to Save Farmland” for more ideas on how to do your part to help preserve farm and ranch land in the United States. It’s as easy as apple pie.

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