Newton’s birthday and crop diversity

Today is the 366th birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. Formulator of the three laws of motion, the theory of gravity, inventor of the first reflecting telescope, theory of color, calculus (with due credit to Gottfried Leibniz), the generalized binomial theorem, and president of the Royal Society.

Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller

All which ties in directly to retail, and biodiversity. Huh?

Co-operative Farms (UK) recently bought 1,000  rare and endangered apple varieties, with colorful names like Great Expectations, Fairie Queen, Northern Spy, Forty Shilling, Duck’s Bill and Bloody Ploughman. (I wonder how the last name came to be; actually, maybe I shouldn’t.) This also includes Isaac’s Newton’s Tree: the apple variety cultivated from the descendants of the tree which inspired Newton to formulate the Theory of Gravity. Many of those apples were dessert apples, but some fell out of favor the strains were no longer grown, threatening to disappear.

Co-op Farms are bottling them up as the “Truly Irresistible Tillington 1,000” pressed apple juice. I think it is great that a retail chain is funding crop diversity and finding a way to make some money in the process. Although with 7,500 cultivars worldwide, apples as are not exactly under an extinction threat. But there is also the matter of food variety, cultural heritage and, of course, preserving the history of physics. Or bottling it up, whichever the case may be.

Also, fruit, including apples, are important in the small-arms industry:

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