After stipulating Granny Smiths for the Apple Crumble in the previous post, Miss Eagle thought a post about the Granny Smith would be in order. The Granny Smith is truly Food from Oz par excellence.
However, perhaps the most famous use of a Granny Smith is as the apple used in the logo for Apple Records, the record label, founded in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. by The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. A few years ago, Miss Eagle lived in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park just a stone's throw from Eastwood, in the local authority area of Ryde, where Maria Smith died in 9 March 1870. Her apple never became a commercial variety in her lifetime but continued to be cultivated by local orchardists. It was exhibited as 'Smith's seedling' in the 1890 Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show. In the 1891 show 'Granny Smith's seedlings' took out the prize for cooking apples. By 1892 many growers were exhibiting 'Granny Smith's'. In 1895 Albert H. Benson, Fruit Expert for the NSW Department of Agriculture, named 'Granny Smith's Seedling' as a suitable variety for export. He also initiated the first large scale cultivation of the apple at the Government Experimental Station in Bathurst. Maria Smith - our famous Granny Smith - was buried in St. Anne's Cemetery, Ryde. The lovely old church at what is locally known as Top Ryde is a familiar landmark to northern suburbs residents. Her husband died six years later. Their headstone still stands in the churchyard.
The residents are rather proud of their connection with Granny Smith and each year the Granny Smith Festival is held at Eastwood, this year on Saturday 21 October 2006.