Johnny Appleseed is an American Folk hero credited with being one of the first conservationists. Legend has it that he wandered around the country randomly planting apple seeds as a symbol of what he stood for. I’m not saying that’s false, I’m just saying that you don’t just wander around planting apple trees for nothing. You know what I’m talking about.

That fame had to be good for something.

The reality is that Johnny Appleseed, also know as John Chapman, was a real dude with some really great ideas. He stood for conservation, charity, and good will and while reality has got a bit difficult to separate from myth, we do know enough about him to know what’s true and what isn’t. It’s pretty well known fact that he actually planted orchards and not the random single trees he is generally credited with planting. He also didn’t wear a pot on his head, which probably wouldn’t help his business. Yes, his orchards were a business. However, he reportedly wasn’t the sort of businessman you’d think of, even for that time. He did wander around in pretty threadbare clothes, often taking clothes as barter with other people interested in shares of his orchards and giving away the best ones to people that needed them. He also wasn’t keen on harassing people that were unable to pay their debts, often allowing them to pay him back whenever it was possible for them, rather than on a strict schedule.

All in all, Chapman was a pretty great fellow. I remember reading about him when I was very young and feeling inspired to do as he did. Unfortunately, I was small and terrified of running away from home, so I just dug little holes wherever I was after I ate an apple and planted it. Adorable, I know, but I can’t say it was entirely selfless.

I was an apple fiend.