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By some estimates there may be over 10,000 different apple varieties. Apples have been in cultivation for centuries and new varieties have continually arisen or been developed. Modern supermarket shoppers sometimes struggle with the 7 or 10 varieties typically offered, and wind up getting in a rut of buying mediocre apples. This is a real shame, since there is so much to explore and enjoy. These simple guidelines can help.

“Why do we need so many kinds of apples? Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes. If he wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use, running from Early Harvest to Roxbury Russet, he should be accorded the privilege. Some place should be provided where he may obtain trees or scions. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony”
-Liberty Hyde Bailey
from The Apple Tree (1922)

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