Did you know that the commonly known ‘Granny Smith’ apple came from Australia? I didn’t until recently seeing an advert in the local paper advertising the Granny Smith Festival on the 16 October. Apparently, a Maria Ann Smith (nee Sherwood) accidently grew the first batch of green apples sometime in 1868 on her farm in Ryde, Sydney, Australia.
How did the apple come about?
- ‘Granny Smith’ was born Maria Ann Sherwood in Sussex, England, in late 1799.
- At the age of 19, she married Thomas Smith, a farm labourer from the neighbouring parish of Beckley.
- Maria and her husband lived in Beckley for the next 19 years, during which time Maria bore 8 children.
- In 1838 they emigrated to New South Wales, Australia as part of a recruitment incentive by government agents looking for people with agricultural and trade skills sorely needed in the colony
- Maria and her family arrived in Sydney on 27 November 1838 aboard the Lady Nugent.
- About 1855 Thomas Smith Snr bought land totaling around 24 acres.
- In 1868 a local fruit grower who had been invited by Maria to examine a seedling apple growing by a creek on her farm recalled how she explained that the seedling had developed from the remains of some French crab apples grown in Tasmania.
To find out more about this interesting history of ‘Granny Smith’ and her apples go to the following link: