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Drink To Isaac Newton’s Birthday – With Juice From The Apples That Inspired Him


Juice from the apples that inspired Sir Isaac Newton to discover gravity are among those included in a new heritage drink available in selected Co-operative food stores.

Isaac Newton was born on 4 January, 1643, and is said to have been inspired to discover gravity when he watched an apple falling from a tree in the garden of his home at Woolsthorpe Manor, near Grantham in Lincolnshire.

Now, 1,000 varieties of rare and endangered British apples, including Isaac Newtons Tree, which is identical to and originated from the apple tree in the garden of Newtons home, are included in the new drink The Co-operative Farms Truly Irresistible Tillington 1,000 pressed apple juice.

Many of the 1,000 varieties were threatened with extinction until The Co-operative Farms bought one of three identical collections 18 months ago, growing and harvesting the apples on its fruit farm at Tillington, Herefordshire.

The others were bought by the Prince of Wales and a private Scottish collector, but The Co-operatives collection is the only one being put to a commercial use around 10,000 one-litre bottles of the drink are available in Co-operative food stores.

The apple juice includes many varieties dating back to pre-Victorian times. Most were originally dessert apples, which eventually fell out of favour and became less fashionable than modern commercial varieties.

Among other rare varieties grown at Tillington, and included in the heritage apple juice, are Great Expectations, Fairie Queen, Northern Spy, Forty Shilling, Ducks Bill and Bloody Ploughman.

Christine Tacon, Managing Director of The Co-operative Farms, said: These apples offer a real taste of British history, and many of them, like Isaac Newtons Tree, have stories behind them.

The apples were in danger of disappearing forever, so to be able to turn them into a delicious and unique drink is very exciting.  It is a great example of what The Co-operative can achieve, as both the UKs largest farming business and as a major food retailer.

Truly Irresistible Tillington 1,000 apple juice will join The Co-operatives Grown by Us range food and drink either grown by The Co-operative Farms, or made using ingredients grown by the business.

The Co-operative Food stores already stock, in season, potatoes, onions, apples, strawberries, peas, beetroot, broccoli, sweetcorn, honey, flour and cider under the Grown by Us label.

Image: Christine Tacon, Managing Director of The Co-operative Farms, raises a glass under the historic apple tree in the grounds of Sir Isaac Newton’s family home at Woolsthorpe Manor.

The Co-operative bought the rare apples from the Brogdale Horticultural Trust in Kent, whose National Fruit Collection was being transferred to Reading University. The Trust decided to sell the 1,000 rare apples in three identical collections, in the belief that this would help ensure their survival.

Woolsthorpe Manor, at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, was the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton. It is now owned by the National Trust, and will be open to visitors between February and October 2010.

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