Is there a proper way of picking apples from a tree?

Apple trees prepare for next year’s fruit this year. Where you see a ripe apple, often there will be a fruit bud right next to the stem. This fruit bud will survive the winter and next spring will open into flowers and, with the help of bees, one or more of the flowers will mature into an apple.

It is for this reason that we take some care when picking an apple. Pulling the apple off the tree may also remove the fruit bud, and subsequently, next year’s fruit!

The trick to picking is to lift and twist the apple.

What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Well, this could take several pages (as you will see if you do an internet search on this topic) but I will try to give the readers digest version: Both juice and cider are made by crushing apples into a pulp, then pressing (squeezing) the pulp to separate the liquid from the pulp. Cider is the unfiltered, unprocessed version; juice is filtered and processed somewhat so that there is always a consistent, milder taste. Cider will taste differently based on the time of the season and the apples used.

What is the best apple for pies?

Of the varieties we grow, the best apple for cooking (pies, apple crisp, etc.) is Redfree. When fully ripe, the apple is sweet, requiring less sugar. When cooked, the pieces get soft but keep their shape. NovaMac apples tend to get ‘mushy’ (like apple sauce) when baked and Liberty stay firm. In our pies, we use about three quarters Redfree and one quarter NovaMac; that gives us a pie with mostly soft cooked pieces and a little ‘mush’ in between. Hint: a nice bag of apples placed on the counter with a kind note will often result in a warm apple pie for that evening’s dessert!

How big is your orchard?

Our farm property is about ten acres. We have approximately 500 apple trees using up three acres of land.

Why did you start an apple orchard?

Carol and I both grew up in the Ottawa area, in an urban environment; neither of us had a farming background. When we first met, we worked for a summer picking fruit in British Columbia and were bitten by the farming bug; we decided then that someday we wanted a hobby farm of some sort. When we moved to PEI in 1987, we were able to buy a farm property close to the city. Some of Carol’s relatives grow apples in Quebec, so we decided to grow apples!

Do you sell anything other than apples?

We sell fresh apple cider made with our certified organic apples. We also have a few pear trees and these are available at different times throughout the apple harvest. As you will notice when you visit our farm this year, we have a new apple barn! In years to come, we plan to expand what we sell