Apple Festival 2008 - Heritage Apples
Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 11th Annual

We had a very successful 2009 Apple Festival with over 1200 happy, full and excited apple lovers roaming our island for the day. The feelings of PEACE & HAPPINESS was such a beautiful pervasive energy, that it seemed to spread over the whole island. Perhaps quality food is the secret to world peace. APPLES FOR PEACE.

Some Highlights follow:

The 2009 Apple Festival poster features the watercolours of Diana Morris-Knox and the calligraphy of Delaine Faulkner.

1) Captain Apple made an appearance.

Captain Apple

2) The Incredible Apple Display at Fulford Hall

It featured 316 labeled apple varieties in 2009, all grown organically on Salt Spring Island. That is a record number. Below, you see the beginning, with all the varieties starting with the letter A.

3) This collection is an epic task. First, all growers on Salt Spring are canvassed to collect 3 apples of each variety in a paper bag, with the name of the apple on the bag. These bags are brought together on the night before the Apple Festival, where about 35 volunteers begin the task to alphabetize the whole mass of paper bags. Before any apples are taken out of the bags, the number of varieties is counted (roughly), the number of varieties on each of the 12 eight foot tables is calculated, the apples are alphabetized, the labels are added, and each grower is indicated with a little round coloured sticker on the label. Then and only then, are the apples taken out of the bags and set on the doilies. The sight and smell of that many apples is a breath taking sight. Fortunately we have many volunteers with over 6 years of experience, so they help to keep everyone on track. We do feed the volunteers that night, because we want our volunteers to be happy in every way. They do such a great job. One visiting writer in 2008 exclaimed how amazed she was at our team of enthusiastic volunteers. Salt Springers do LOVE THEIR APPLES.

Here is the Fulford Hall Apple Display team setting up 316 apple varieties on the evening before the Apple Festival. Notice that the apples on the right foreground, those starting with A’s are being taken out of the bags, while the ones on the left foreground, the Z’s are still in bags.

4) The Apple Festival is all about Apples, on our incredible island, which we call APPLE HEAVEN. Here are some samples.

Grimes Golden

Hudson's Golden Gem (looks like a pear, except stem is in opposite end)


Washington Strawberry

Apples on display at Duck Creek Farm

5) The Salt Spring Pie Ladies baked 149 apple pies, with a label indicating which apple variety was used in the pie. The best way to discover your favourite cooking apple

Evelyn Lee, on left below (aged 91), baked 13 pies; Sharon Hawke, on right, wore some old lace from her Grandmother on Apple Festival Day.

The Salt Spring Island Women's Institute Pie Ladies
From left, Sharon, Bev, Margaret and Angela. (photo by Derrick Lundy)
WARNING: The pies were sold out by 2 PM

From left, Bev B, Pam and Angela

6) Satya Hall was at Apple Lusciou standing in front of a Grimes Golden tree, with an unknown apple from his tree, that had just been ID’ed as a Grimes Golden. There was a sign at that tree talking about Widow Smith of Spences Bridge, who grew Grimes Golden along the Fraser River in the early 1900’s. Her Grimes Golden became world famous, as they were requested by the King of England. Good friends of the Grand daughter of Widow Smith arrived at the tree at exactly the same time. It was a magical convergence.

7) At the Purdy Inglin Farm, Ted Dodds and Peter Coddling were pressing apple juice made from individual apple varieties, using their Grandfather’s apple press, which is over 100 years old. Guests were able to sample fresh pressed juice from either King, Wealthy, Newton, or Northern Spy apples. Now that is a connoisseurs delight.

8) Bob Weeden of Whims Farm, grows ONLY heritage apple varieties (varieties grown before 1900) and as a former professor, he loves to share his widespread knowledge of apples with all. He is our local APPLE IDENTIFICATION EXPERT as well as the KEEPER OF LOCAL SEEDLINGS (Newly found varieties). So he is a very valuable link in the local apple network.

Some of Bob Weedens heritage apples (notice the blush on these Cortlands in the foreground).

9) We are so lucky to have many children involved in the Apple Festival. Two young neighbours of Apple Luscious Organic Orchard (and some of our main apple testers), spent lots of time tasting apples and having fun.

About 2 PM, on that day, they excitedly showed me their hand. On it they had written, TSUGARU, a Japanese apple variety that is very sweet, and their Winner for that day.

Set up volunteers, Deanna and Kayah show off our banner

10) We love to show a range of Salt Spring treasures at Fulford Hall. These are from a tomato tasting by Salt Spring Seeds, hosted by Marsha Goldberg.

11) Tasting apples is the main event on Apple Festival Day. All the rhetoric and apple variety descriptions disappear, when you taste an apple. The moment of truth. All orchards take great pride in featuring the tasting of their apple varieties. Bright Farm present their apple varieties for tasting above.

Cusheon Cove Farm present their apple varieties for tasting

12) Fabulous lunches are a great part of every Apple Festival with about half the farms offering lunches of some sort. A great variety of tastes is also featured, with lamb, Thai food, vegetarian, pork, gluten free foods and amazing desserts rounding out the menus.

Anna Gustafson & Paul Burke provided delicious lunches at Blue Horse Gallery

Blue Horse Gallery dessert delight
Jan Mangan photo

The cheeses of David Woods of Salt Spring Cheese are a connoisseur's dream and sought after by cheese lovers across Canada

Neptune Farm also had fabulous food that day

13) Harry uses a pole picker to get some perfectly ripe Pink Delight (red flesh) apples for a customer. They apples were very popular with apple lovers that day. Since by nature, they have a very waxy finish, these apples shine like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

A posed photo of Pink Delight apples

Pink Delight apple cross section

All that is left of the Pink Delight at the tasting table

14) The beautiful garden ornament about 16 inches tall, was made by Elna Gravelle, as a fund raiser for Seeds for Malawi. The Apple Festival purchased it for the Apple Festival raffle, and it went to a happy home.

15) Apple Collection 2009 sold to Mayne Island

It is a huge job to amass the 316 apple varieties shown off in 2009 at Fulford Hall. It was a stunning display. In order to reward the growers who do all the work to make this display happen, we sell off the Apple Collection and return al the money to the growers. By doing that, we are hopefully sending them the message – PLEASE DO ALL THE WORK NEXT YEAR TO PUT TOGETHER THE FABULOUS APPLE COLLECTION.

We sold the Apple Collection to Mayne Island for their Apple Fest and the collection was delivered to them 2 days after.

Feedback from Helen O’Brian on Mayne Island:

Apple Fest was a great success. The steady stream of people coming to the display were absolutely gob smacked at the number and variety of apples and... all grown on Salt Spring Island. What an eye opener it was for them. Thank you so much for making it all possible. Many of the apples were tasted and some were sold off. The rest went to an islander for pressing.

Donations that were made will be put towards the purchase of a community apple press which many people were VERY enthusiastic about.

We'll keep in touch.

Cheers, Helen

16) Feedback from Salt Spring Island Apple Festival participants

1) We enjoyed all and envious of anyone who partook of Apple Luscious lunch offerings! We did enjoy the apple tastings and found the Cox Pippin the best and bought some of those. The Arlets were a favourite too as was the Karamijn de Sonnaville? We plan to attend again with our grand daughter Jasmine next time! (Member of Surrey/White Rock Naturalists)

2) The 2009 Apple Fest was Spectacular!!! As usual!!!
Everyone was talking about it...I think it is getting bigger than
the fall fair (local Salt Springer)

3) You guys do an amazing job in education, community work and making sure that we don't loose our connection to the land and food security. (Sidney resident) 

4) My husband and I just wanted to thank you for a fabulous day at the Apple Festival. We enjoyed looking at all the varieties at the hall and we were excited to receive help in identifying some or our older varieties of apples.
They were very kind to email us the information.
It was a delight to visit your orchard and my husband devoured a quiche and said it was absolutely delicious! 
Map in hand, we wound our way around your island enjoying the offerings provided.
It was a truly wonderful experience. Thank you very much for the large role you played in making it happen. (Qualicum Beach resident)

5) Your property reminded me of the countryside in Mallorca (Spain) where I once lived many many years ago - I was so happy to visit your property as it brought back some very nostalgic memories of living in Spain! Thank you. (Sidney blogger)

17) Photographers and their photos from 2009

1) Rick Neufield (Noof) Rick posts one photo every single day of the year from Salt Spring Island. Great captions also

2) Christina Richard
Dragonfly Farm & Studio
Illustration ~ Animation ~ Design
You can see her entire collection of Apple Festival 2009 photos at

3) Michelle Gore-Langton
Great photos at her website.

4) All photographs (about 1000 in total for Apple Fest 2009)
We are in the process of preparing a website to display all photographs from the six photographers who did such a great job documenting our 2009 festival.

18) Media Coverage of The Salt Spring Island, BC Apple Festival

1) Vancouver Sun article, Friday, Oct 2, 2009

2) Michelle Gore-Langton
Her blog

3) Victoria Kayak Group (Kayak Yak)
This group of Kayakers came over for the 2009 Apple Festival and in Oct posted this blog about the event.

4) Article by Linda Ziedrich

Linda Ziedrich, a writer from OREGON, has an Apple Festival article in North West Travel magazine in the September/October 2010 issue. This article was based on a trip to the 2009 Salt Spring Island Apple Festival.

5) The Real Food Traveler features an article about the Salt Spring Island Apple Festival. We have now placed it with a food focus web site.

by Yvette Cardozo
14821 255 Ave SE
Issaquah, WA 98027
phone: (425) 391-0770
fax: (888) 726-8992

19) Facebook

The Salt Spring Island Apple Festival is NOW ON FACEBOOK.

Check it out at:

20) The 12th Annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival

Theme: Kids and Apples, A Magical Combination

Sunday, OCT 3, 2010
9 AM to 5 PM
Suggested Starting point: Fulford Hall.
A chance to visit Apple Heaven while still on earth!


We will see you in Apple Heaven
on Sunday, October 3, 2010.