People still ask so I’ll mention our seven annual Heirloom Apple Fests. We’re not doing them now. At first we held them at the little one-room schoolhouse down the road and with 40 different kinds of apples to taste. Over the years we grew and grew, with ongoing kindness from the Home Orchard Society and our dear friend Nick Bottner, owner of the largest reserve of apples in the world. At our later events we had over 200 different kinds of apples, the largest apple event in all of Washington. Over time the event got so popular and jam-packed we moved it to the County’s Heritage Farm in 2013. In 2014 I put all my energy into writing a book on honeybees. My bee book was published in 2015 and to celebrate, we held a three-day HoneyBee Conference that summer. That was a BIG push! We decided there were too many things on our plate to prepare for and host an Apple Festival, too. Apples or bees? We had to choose and with the book doing so well, we went toward the bees. We loved holding this apple-rich event which, for now, is part of our farm’s delightful history. — Jacqueline
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Thank you everyone, for attending our 7th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting. Here’s the post about it:
We had 200+ different and unusual varieties to sample and nearly all of them were delicious. Apples can taste like honey, bananas, even strawberries while some of the tart cider apples will pucker up your mouth like you just sucked on a lemon. Other apples smell like roses and pineapples. Some are long and narrow, some have red flesh and purple skin, others are white as snow. Some are breeds from the 1600s and a few have been around longer than that even. Everyone was able to sample as many as they wanted by pointing at an apple so we could cut a slice.
The event was held at the 78th St. Heritage Farm
10am – Different Kinds of Apple Pie Fillings: Master Food Preservers
11am – Grow Apple Trees & an Orchard: Home Orchard Society
noon – Plant a Garden for Pollinators (so we keep having apples): Naturescaping
1pm – Delicious Ways to Preserve Apples: Master Food Preservers
2pm – Heirloom Apple History & Stories — Jacqueline Freeman
ALL THROUGH THE DAY
Apple Identification — Home Orchard Society
Taste 200+ Apples — Friendly Haven Rise Farm
Make an Apple Pie — Friendly Haven Rise Farm
Cider-Making, See & Taste — Linda & George Parsons
Buy Unusual Apples & Pears to take Home — Home Orchard Society
Cast your vote for best flavor, prettiest, most unusual shape, tartest, sweetest, best scent and strangest flavor. We’ve got them all.
If you have old apple trees growing in your backyard we’ll do our best to identify them. A few years ago we found an old variety on our farm, the Gideon Sweet, that was thought to be extinct!
In the past Clark County was known for being an excellent fruit-growing community. Apple trees can grow for 80-100 years so the old varieties planted in our early days are coming up on the end of their time. If these trees are identified and branches from the old trees grafted onto new tree stock, these varieties will continue. We’d like to encourage people who have (or know of) an old apple tree to bring a few apples in so we can look at them. At last year’s apple event some rare apple varieties were identified. Once an old breed dies, it’s gone forever. Let’s not let that happen. Many more “previously unknown” varieties were named so the tree owners now know the type.
If you’d like your apples identified
Bring 5 apples from each tree. Put each tree’s apples in a separate paper bag labeled with your name, phone number and the location of the tree. Don’t wash or polish them because some of the characteristics are in the skin’s bloom. Our apple ID crew from the Home Orchard Society will do their magic. You can even join HOS while you’re here. We all get excited about finding forgotten breeds. Great folks!
What can you do at the Apple Fest?
Taste more than 200 different apples
Get your apple trees identified so you know what they are
Watch cider pressed the old fashioned way
See a young orchard and learn how to grow your own apple trees
Figure out what to do with apples besides make pies
Watch apple pie demos by local pie-making experts and learn their secrets
Make an apple pie to bake at home!
Every activity is FREE except for tasting the apples. That costs $5 and adult-accompanied kids under 16 are free. Donations from the profits go to the 78th St. Heritage Farm for their educational programs and NatureScaping to help people learn how to create pollinator gardens.