Salt Spring Island Apple Festival

So many apples, so little time, but take time to taste the apples along the way! Salt Spring Island was among the first area in BC to grow apples (1860) and now grows over 350 varieties organic apples. Home to the Salt Spring Island Organic Apple Co-op, Salt Spring Island is the Organic Gardening Capital of Canada.

 

The  16th Annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival

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Photo by Jan Mangan

  • When: Sunday, Oct 4, 2015
  • Where: All over Salt Spring Island. Start at Fulford Hall on the Fulford Ganges Road (you can’t miss it).
  • Theme: Let the KID inside you escape.

Local photographers have captured this great little event over the years, each in their own way, and collectively they documented the apple festival in a very powerful way. Visit the Official Apple Festival website >> to view more than 1000 photos of past festivals and get a feel for this popular event. And you may want to check out the Salt Spring Apple Youtube channel >>

More Apple Festival highlights

  • Display of HUNDREDS of apples all grown organically on Salt Spring Island
  • Tasting of more than 100 apple varieties at just one farm (Apple Luscious). Most others had tasting of their own varieties
  • At least 12 labeled varieties of apple pies baked by the Pie Ladies
  • Theatrical performances by Johnny Appleseed, Theodore Trage, the Queen and Captain Apple
  • A rich history of apples going back to 1860
  • Educational information on organic apple growing
  • Apple identification services
  • Orchard bee and honey bee experts available
  • Apple art by local artists

Salt Springers are very proud of their apples and the incredible collections we amass at Fulford Hall for every Apple Festival is a sight to take your breath away. The scent of apples when you enter the room will take your soul on a journey. Last year, we had 262 varieties all grown organically on Salt Spring Island, arranged alphabetically and all with detailed labels.

The task of setting up the collection is performed the night before by a team of about 30 island volunteers, ranging in age from children to senior citizens, who consider this one of the highlights of their year.

The Weather – and Critters!

Salt Spring Islanders love their apples and are delighted to show visitors our apple diversity. The weather affects the apple crops – at Apple Festival 2006 there were 296 varieties, but with a very cold, wet spring in 2007, some varieties did not produce a crop in 2007. In 2008 the 300 variety barrier was broken for the first time, and in 2012, an outbreak of the tent caterpillar devastated many apple crops. This critter creates a tent in which hundred caterpillars can live in safety while they devour the tree’s leaves and flowers. The tent caterpillar it has a 7 year cycle, and in 2013 the apple crop was better but we are hoping 2014 will be a bumper year.

This festival is farm based, connecting you to the organic farmers on Salt Spring. They are your best guarantee of food quality and good health.

The Salt Spring Apple Festival Proceeds go to:

  • Development of a juicing facility on Salt Spring
  • Annual $500 bursary given to someone on Salt Spring, to support practical
    learning in the field of organic agriculture.
  • Supporting the education of a third world child
  • Up to $100 going towards thanking in the best possible manner, a local who has made Salt Spring a better place to live.

Want more?

Fascinating report about Salt Spring Apples by reporter Peter Prince (note dates are for last year’s festival!) 

Apple Festival Time Lapse (lotsa fun!)

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Photo by Jan Mangan

Want to get involved in the Salt Spring Apple Festival?

Contact Harry Burton at 250 653-2007 or by email.