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Save the Cox's Orange Pippin!



The Cox’s Orange Pippin is as British as roast beef and ever since it was first grown in Buckinghamshire in 1825 it was an instant hit on these islands. But sadly it seems that its days of ‘apple supremacy’ are at an end. Growers say that the younger generation want bigger, softer, sweeter apples – to me that just sounds like a long winded way of saying blander apples.

Gala and Braeburn now account for more than 50% of the apples grown in the UK and the good old Cox is down to about 5%. More Cox trees are grubbed up every year and more Gala and Braeburn are planted (since 2009 the area of orchard dedicated to Gala rose by 49.5% and Braeburn by 67%).

The Cox is difficult to grow, very susceptible to scab and is not a huge cropper but it is ours. It has had a part in the parentage of virtually all the 5,000 desert fruit varieties and most importantly it is ours and it is the World’s best dessert apple variety!

If you call yourself a gardener and fancy a challenge plant one this autumn: the rewards are aromatic, crisp, slightly acid and very juicy. But make sure you buy a Cox’s Orange Pippin and not one of the myriad of ‘improved’ modern varieties.



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