Maria Sherwood was born in Sussex England in 1799. At the age of 19 she married Thomas Smith and in 1838 they both migrated to Australia.
In 1855 and 1856, Thomas and Maria Smith bought a farm around Eastwood, New South Wales where they became orchardists. They specialized in raising different types of fruit one of which became known as the Granny Smith.
The earliest account of the origin of the Granny Smith appeared in the Farmer and Settler of 25 June 1924, in an article by Herbert Rumsey, a Dundas orchardist and local historian. He interviewed local fruit-grower Edwin Small who recalled that in 1868 he and his father had been invited by Maria to examine a seedling apple growing by a creek on her farm. She explained that the seedling had developed from the remains of some French crab apples grown in Tasmania.
It is amazing how such a firm and fresh variety of apple emerged from the discarded crab apples thrown onto the rubbish heap.
In Eastwood Australia they still celebrate this new fruit and tell this story about worthwhile things emerging from that which others think is refuse.
Image: Granny Smith