Quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.) belongs to the family of Rosaceae and is a close relative of apples. The homeland are forests of northern Iran, where it grows wild in the form of a bush or tree. It arrived in Europe over Italy. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossom and other ornamental qualities.
The fruits ripen during autumn, depending on the climatic conditions of habitats on which are farmed. They’re covered with hairs which is easy to remove, and reach the weight of 300-500 grams. Quince is resistant to frost and requires a cold period below 7 °C to flower properly (yarovization). The fruit can be left on the tree to ripen further, which softens the fruit to the point where it can be eaten raw in warmer climates, but should be picked before the first frosts, at a time when the entire surface of the fruit is pale yellow and is easy to tear it off by twisting the stalk. Too early harvested, greenish fruits, are much inferior in quality and cann’t be kept long, nor too late harvested, usually with dark spots. They’re very sensitive to knocks and damages, and should be kept in unheated rooms, in a single layer with stem facing up. When the fruits color change from pale yellow to golden yellow, they’re ready to use. Raw fruits are not used because they are bitter, woody and hard to digest.
Due to its medicinal properties, quince has been known since ancient times in mythology and folk tradition as a symbol of love, happiness, fertility, wisdom, beauty, durability and eternity. Quince fruits, leaves and seeds are used. If quince is not sprayed with chemicals, then its bark can be also used for preparing medicinal tea. Quince compresses (fruit, bark, leaf) are used to treat open wounds, burns, cracked skin or nipple. Quince ingredients are also used in cosmetics.
The list of vitamins and minerals is not endless, but what quince offers lasts much longer than from other fruit trees. Of nutrients fruits contain about 14% carbohydrates, 0.5% protein and about 0.4% fat. Water makes up 70-80% of fruit, and significantly is that it contain 2% of indigestible cellulose, which is important for normal bowel function. There are also vitamins C, B1, B2, B12, vitamin A and minerals potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper.
Quince is used as a medicine or as an aid in the treatment of many diseases and ailments. Therefore, include quince into your diet, but also in a list of farmed cultures. Farming quince isn’t difficult, but it requires a lot of pruning, pest protection and other care measures. Complete farming technology for quince, from planting, fertilizing to protection and harvest you can find in Agrivi farm management system, which gives you best practices for growing your crops.
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