Canned or from Orchard to Apple Strudel

This is my story from the time I was a happy fruit hanging on a tree in the apple orchard till now as I arrive at the end of the conveyor belt.

I was grown in a market garden in Eastwood, New South Wales. I was a nice, juicy apple named “Smithie” after Granny Smith, the founder of my variety. My father told me that our type is the main one grown in Australia and I am proud to be one.

One April day, my good friend, Gran, and I were having a chat, when the farmer picked the fruit next to us. He cut the apple in half, took a bite and then I heard him say

“The pips are a nice brown and this apple tastes sweet and juicy. I’m sure it contains 10% sugar. I do not need to check it with my hydrometer. These apples are definitely ready to harvest.”

I started to shiver. I had heard tales about the day the farmer will pick you and you will never return to the tree. All of us apples called the farmer “The Dark Shadow.” Suddenly, there was a cry. Gran had been picked. A funny feeling came over me. “Will I be next?”

The shadow started reaching towards me.

“Not me please, not me!” It was so quick. My stem was pulled from the tree. “Ouch!” The hands were hot and sweaty. They held me tight. I was put in a bin. Sure enough, there was Gran.

“Hey, Gran.”

“Hi Smithie. I think I have a few bruises.”

“Yeah, same here.” I replied.

Gran and I, and all the other apples stayed there till the sun went down. Then finally, we were lifted onto a truck. There was a lot of vibration as the truck drove us to the packing shed. My body shook and I felt extremely uncomfortable.

The next day, Gran and I and my fellow apple friends were put on a bench. Once again, hands picked me up. They were softer this time because they belonged to a lady. She was examining me. When she saw I had bruises on me (no wonder after the way I had been treated) she threw me down a shute and I landed in another bin.

I didn’t know what to think as I was loaded again into another truck. “Was I going to be taken home to the orchard?”
After another bumpy journey, I arrived not at the peaceful orchard but at a noisy factory. “What was to become of me?” Again I was tipped from the bin, this time into a tub of water. “Ah, that was better.” I liked this new feeling. I was floating, bobbing up and down in a big bath, how smart and clean I looked. I began to relax and enjoy myself when suddenly, without warning, I was lifted up again and tipped onto the conveyor belt. As I moved swiftly along, I began weeping inside, sure now that I would never see the orchard again. Hands grabbed me again. I felt a sharp pain as I was pushed onto a rotating steel needle. As I spun around, I felt awfully dizzy. When I was pulled off, I realized I had lost my core and all my skin…..brrr, it’s cold! Then it was off on another conveyor belt. Ahead of me, I could see a shiny, silvery thing. “Would things get better from here?”

At last, I reached the silvery thing. It began cutting me ouch, ouch, chop, chop, chop, chop. It really hurt. It kept cutting on and on, until I was all sliced into rings, I felt very strange and dreaded what may lie ahead. Next thing I knew, I was in another tub of water. No, no not just water, it tasted salty. “What’s going on?”

Then I heard a voice, “Those apples have been in there long enough. They won’t go brown now.”

So it was out of the water and on to a tray this time. The tray I was on, was put into this big machine. It was so hot there, unbearably hot. So hot that I became all limp and mushy and I thought I was glad when I was finally taken out. I slid off the tray and down through a funnel. Plop! I landed in a tin where I went speeding off on yet another conveyor belt.

It felt horrible in the tin, squashed together with other apples. So crowded! Shhhh, clang, bang. I couldn’t see. It was so dark and so stuffy. I felt awful. There was no air and it was hard to breathe.

Then as I arrived at the end of the conveyor belt, I wondered where I was heading.
Some weeks later, I found myself sitting on a supermarket shelf with a lot of other tins. Footsteps approached me,

“Mummy” said a little girl, “Can we buy this tin for apple strudel?”

Small hands reached up and took me from the shelf. Ooops! She dropped and dinted me. After my experiences in the factory, I was used to this treatment.

Another journey and I was packed in one of the family’s cupboards with some other tins. Here, I sat waiting and waiting for what seemed forever. As the weeks passed, I had this funny feeling, as if I was swelling. I felt bloated and I didn’t seem to smell so sweet as I did when I left the factory. Then one day, I felt the mother’s fingers as she reached in to take me off the shelf. “Bang!”

Canned or from Orchard to Apple Strudel


Joined December 2009

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It says it in the title: Canned or from Orchard to Apple Strudel

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