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BC celebrates its favourite fruit


You can walk around and find apples you ate growing up
You can walk around and find apples you ate growing up

Kimberly Lamontagne, staff writer

October 13, 2011 — The festival dedicated to British Columbia's celebrated fruit hits Vancouver.

Learn more about what kind of apples you have in your backyard
Learn more about what kind of apples you have in your backyard

There's plenty more options than just red, green and yellow out there. About 70 more.

Apples, and lots of them, will be front and centre this weekend in Vancouver. A wide variety of apples are grown in British Columbia.

UBC Apple Festival is in full bloom. The 2-day event gives attendees the opportunity to learn about the diversity of the fruit that keeps doctors away.

Almost 50,000 pounds of apples are sold to the thousands who attend the festival.

“The apples that we sell vary from cooking apples, dessert apples, fresh-eating apples, and juice apples,” said Margaret Butschler, who has been with the UBC Apple Festival for its 21 years. “We're handling about seventy five varieties that I, along with another buyer, have ordered from growers in the Okanagan and from the Fraser Valley.” adds Butschler.

The main attraction at the festival is the apple tasting tent where festival goers can sample all sorts of apples.

For a dollar, you can buy an individual apple
For a dollar, you can buy an individual apple

“We have Belle de Boskoop. It's a green, hard, crunchy apple, but absolutely excellent in pies and for a cooking apple, it keeps it's shape.”

The weather has played a part in the line up of apples set to appear this weekend. A certain fan favorite won't be returning to the festival.

“There's one called Pink Lady that people love, and it's not going to be picked until November. So, no Pink Lady this year, but seventy five others,” explained Butschler, “They're late because, you remember, that it rained in the spring and it rained in the early summer and it was cold and the bees weren't out and they weren't flitting from flower to flower as they should have been.”

Fun facts about the fruit:

  • The science of growing apples is pomology and the French word for apple is “pomme.“
  • 42 pounds is the weight of a bushel of apples.
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown worldwide.
  • Apples ripen 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature, compared to in the fridge.

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