McIntosh Red Apple

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“While clearing some land in 1796, John McIntosh (of Dundas County, Ontario) discovered about 20 young apple trees. He transplanted the trees to a place near his home, but by 1830, only one tree was still alive. McIntosh combined his own name with the colour of the fruit, and called the tree the “McIntosh Red”.

From the time the tree was first transplanted it produced an abundance of tasty apples. In 1893, the McIntosh house caught fire and the tree, located just 15 feet from the house, was badly burned along one side. However, the healthy side continued to produce apples until 1908.

Fortunately, as early as 1836, McIntosh’s son Allan began grafting parts of the tree so that it could be grown in other places by other farmers.”

I suspect that this won’t fit everyone’s definition of ‘design’, but happy accidents, and careful selection are sometimes the most important part of the design process. Thanks to the efforts of McIntosh and his family to propagate clippings from the original tree (seeds would not produce the same fruit), the McIntosh Red now thrives throughout North America and around the world.

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