How bout them apples: UBC Apple Fest Oct. 15-16

It’s time to plan your weekend agenda. If it feels like the weekend just ended, that’s the beauty of a four-day work week. Top on the list of Vancouver happenings is the 21st annual UBC Apple Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, from 11:00 am-4:00 pm in the university botanical gardens.

The festival celebrates the 200+ varieties of apples grown locally with tastings, baked goods, games and even how-to-graft lessons for gardeners. No one leaves without a sack fruit. Every year at this family-friendly event, fest-goers purchase 44,000 pounds or 20,000 kilos of B.C. apples.

B.C. Apples:

B.C. is an apple producer heavyweight, growing about 30 percent of Canada’s apples. A whopping 98 percent of B.C. apples are produced in the Okanagan-Similkameen valleys. The rest are grown on Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and Kootenay areas. The varieties grown for commercial production are the classic Red and Gold Delicious, McIntosh and Spartan. Newer varieties now being widely planted include Jonagold, Gala, Braeburn and Fuji.

The lowdown on Apple Fest activities:

Learn by tasting: The apple tasting tent is the most popular event at Apple Fest. In addition to common, tried-and-true varieties, more than 70  heritage and new pomme varieties are available, grown both conventionally and organically. These include the Grimes Golden, Bramley Seedling, Ambrosia (hybridized in Cawston British Columbia), and Cox’s Orange Pippin, the quintissental 19th century English apple, often regarded as the finest of all dessert apples.

Garden: For avid horticulturalists, the Vancouver Island-based BC Fruit Testers Association will display the 200 apple tree varieties that are still grown in British Columbia, and demo the ins and outs of skills like grafting and cider-pressing. Feeling tricky? Try to stump these experts with apple varieties from your garden–they welcome the challenge. You can also pick up tips for coping with apple-related diseases and pest management, plus purchase apple trees.

Just for kids: Apple Fest has a rocking children’s area with crafts, face painting, games, story telling and a “Longest Apple Peel” contest.

Eat sweets: Raw apples are divine but don’t miss the cornucopia of sugary apple products. I’m a pie kinda gal–ready to throw down and debate the best baking apple any day of the week. The food fair also features cider, honey candy apples and more on sale for gobbling on site or taking home.

Admission is $4 for adults and children over 12 years, and includes free entry to the UBC Botanical Garden.

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  1. Pingback: Head out to UBC’s Apple Festival October 15-16 | Kitsilano.ca – Kits' Neighbourhood blog.