For over two decades, an Irish farmer has given away thousands of apples to Irish primary school children for Halloween.
Cornelius Traas, from Tipperary, says it is a tradition he’s carried over from his parents.
“When I was in school, my parents used to send me and my brother into school with a box of apples for our classes. We did it every year right up until Leaving Cert - my brother as well,” Traas told the Irish Independent.
Traas has given away over 120,000 apples over the last 20 years. This year, he will give away 6,000 apples to teachers and children from 32 primary schools.
Old-fashioned communication. This morning I am sending letters to 32 local national schools offering them free apples for every student (and teacher) before Halloween. Over 120,000 apples given away in the past 20 years. pic.twitter.com/lJiMITY96W— Cornelius Traas (@theapplefarmer) October 22, 2018
“We’ve 32 schools every year now that collect the apples every year – it comes to around 200 children in each school and ten teachers, and we have an apple for everyone.”
“If half the class are eating them, all the class are going to eat them… It’s like the Food Dudes who are encouraging children to eat healthy.”
He says that less than 10 percent of apples eaten in Ireland are actually grown there.
The Elstar apple is an Irish variety, but pink lady and granny smith apples are grown abroad.
“Granny smiths and Pink ladys need a warmer climate, a hotter summer than we have in Ireland. If people are in the habit of consuming those apples, we can’t provide that apple to them. We’re relying on people to choose another.”
However, he told the Irish Independent: “Elstars are very popular with consumers in general.”
“Irish apples tend to have larger cells than they do elsewhere, when you bite them, because the cells are bigger, then it reduces more juice, so there’s less chewing to get the juice. They’d probably seem juicier.”