Friday, January 19, 2007
Waynewood Elementary Students’ Proposal for State Fruit Introduced as Bills in Virginia General Assembly
Virginia Senator Toddy Puller and Delegate Kris Amundson have introduced bills in the Virginia General Assembly to name the Ginger Gold apple the state fruit of Virginia, acting on the suggestion of fourth grade students in Kate Norton’s 2005-06 class at Waynewood Elementary School. Waynewood Elementary School is a Fairfax County public school.
The bills are scheduled to be heard by committee; House Bill 1837 will be heard by the House Committee on Rules and Senate Bill 779 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Rules. Citizens can contact members of the House Committee on Rules by visiting http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+com+H20 and members of the Senate Committee on Rules by visiting http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+com+S10, and can also show their support by completing the survey at http://www.fcps.edu/WaynewoodES/. If the bills move successfully through the legislative process, the Ginger Gold apple will join other official state emblems including the state flower, tree, bird, and insect.
The Ginger Gold apple was first discovered in Nelson County, Virginia, after Hurricane Camille swept through the area in 1969, causing more than 100 deaths and millions of dollars in damage. When farmer Clyde Harvey began restoring and replanting his orchards, he discovered a young apple tree in a group of Winesap apple trees that exhibited different characteristics. This tree bore an early crop of golden apples with excellent taste. Harvey then had the new apple evaluated by a retired horticulturalist, who identified its parents as the Golden Delicious, Albemarle Pippin, and an unknown variety. Harvey propagated and planted a second generation of 100 trees and patented the new apple variety, named after his wife Ginger, in 1987. Specific information about the ginger gold apple can be found at http://www.virginiaapples.org/varieties/gingergold.html.
Norton’s 2005-06 class researched the topic extensively, using numerous criteria to narrow their choice for state fruit, including how the fruit would earn money for the state, how it would look on the state automobile license plates, and if it has historical significance in Virginia. Taste also played a role in the students’ decision. Norton’s 2006-07 class is following the progress of the bill and considering ideas for future legislation.
Note: For more information, contact Kate Norton at email@example.com.