Think you know apples? You don’t know apples. For instance, did you know there are over 7,500 varieties of the fruit? Or that over 70 different kinds will be available for sampling at the UBC Apple Festival?
From heritage to the new and tried-and-true, from the organically to the conventionally grown, the varieties will be available for buying as well as tasting.
At the two-day UBC Apple Festival, Oct 13-14, you’ll be able to sample heritage apples like the Grimes Golden, the Bramley Seedling, Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Wilford Brimley. (Okay, we’re just kidding about the last one.) New varieties include the popular Ambrosia, which was hybridized in Cawston, British Columbia. Home gardeners can also take home a variety of apple trees, perfect for the home garden or patio.
Special events include a naming ceremony. On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., the festival will present the name for the SPA493, an apple that is more than 25 years in the making. (May we suggest the Wilford Brimley?)
One of the annual festival’s most popular activities is the apple tasting tent (2012 List of Apple Cultivars Available at Tasting Tent). For only $5, curious (and hungry) event-goers can taste up to 60 varieties of new and heritage apples grown in British Columbia.
Some of the varieties sell out quickly, so if you want a full apple experience, arrive early.
The Vancouver Island-based BC Fruit Testers Association will present a display of the nearly 200 apple varieties that are still grown in the province. Association members will give demonstrations of grafting and cider-pressing. And for apple-growers, master gardeners will be on hand to discuss apple-related diseases and pest management.
Activity stations in the Children’s Area range from crafts to face painting to games and storytelling. Choices Market hosts their “Longest Apple Peel” contest, and a variety of talented entertainers perform at the Wesbrook Village Entertainment Stage in the Roseline Sturdy Amphitheatre. Alas, singer Fiona Apple has prior commitments.
And if you just want to enjoy some tasty treats, that’s okay too. Apple pie and hot apple cider are available for purchase at The Food Fair located on the main lawn near the Apple Tasting Tent.
Admission to the UBC Apple Festival is $4 for adults and children over 12 years. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A bike valet will be available at the main entrance and a free shuttle bus runs from the UBC Campus West Parkade. For more information, call 604-822-4529.
Let’s just hope that the weather cooperates.