Metchosin apple festival explores diversity of the fruit

Chopped, baked, mashed, whole or dried. Come out Sunday to celebrate the apple.

Gary Kangas snacks on an apple at Metchosin Community House. He will play the role of Robert Weir during the Metchosin Apple Festival where everyone’s invited to take a taste on Sept. 30.

Chopped, baked, mashed, whole or dried. Come out this Sunday to celebrate the apple.

The Metchosin Apple Festival is back after a four year hiatus with new and old fruity traditions.

Gary Kangas, will be in character of Robert Weir – namesake of Weir’s beach.

“He was the stellar leader of the community,” said Kangas.  When Weir first moved to Metchosin he planted the first apple orchard during the 1850s.

He was also a sheep farmer and cougar hunter.

“In a period of a week him and his boys shot six cougars. Sheep were a cash crop and you don’t want sheep getting eaten by cougars, you want your sheep getting eaten by customers,” chuckled Kangas.

Other than learning the history of apples in the district, festival-goers can get their hands dirty making an apple crisp to bring home and bake.

“It’s a great activity for parents to do with their kids,” said Dan O’Connell, director of the apple festival.

Assembling this old favourite will cost $5.

All proceeds from the event will be split between the Metchosin Community House and the Metchosin Foundation.

Plenty of apple treats will be on hand for tasting including baked apples and apple juice.

Apple demonstrations include making juice and sauce.

Some children’s favourites include face painting and the apple toss.

A series of specialists will be on hand speaking about issues regarding heritage orchards and fruit identification.

Anyone with apples on their Metchosin property is asked to bring three apples from one tree in a brown paper bag. The apples will be used in the apple bee, identifying different varieties in the area.

“We need more than one apple for proper identification,” O’Connell explained, adding this was recently done on Salt Spring Island and 311 varieties were identified. “We want to learn about the diversity of apples we have here.”

“This is a really valuable exercise for old time agriculture,” added Kangas.

The Metchosin Apple Festival is, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Metchosin Commu

 

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