For the Townsman
In the fall, as the nights turn colder, local apples ripen on the tree and eventually fall to the ground.
Fortunately, Wildsight has a solution to help locals make use of the local bounty of apples before they become a mess and a wildlife attractant.
It’s called the Apple Capture Project and it includes juicing, saucing, picking, and dehydrating equipment that Wildsight loans out free of charge in Kimberley and Cranbrook, a tree share board, and community juicing days.
Wildsight’s next community juicing day is a special Thanksgiving celebration this weekend, Saturday, Oct 11.
“Join us for a community apple picking from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by juice pressing from 1pm to 3 p.m.,” said Wildsight’s Sonja Seher. “Or if you want to bring your own apples to juice or just see how it all works, drop by between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.”
The juicing event takes place in Cranbrook at the Public Produce Garden (6th Avenue and 18th Street North).
“Kids love watching the juicing process and even helping out,” said Wildsight’s Lars Sander-Green, “and we are happy to share a cup of fresh juice with anyone who stops by.”
Seher reminded everyone to bring containers to bring home their own share of the juice.
You don’t need to join a community juicing day to use the harvest and food preservation equipment. Everyone can sign up online at wildsight.ca/apples for Wildsight’s equipment booking system and can pick up equipment at any time.
“Between Kimberley and Cranbrook, we have five apple juice presses, four large dehydrators, three sauce makers, two 12-foot orchard ladders and two smaller ladders, plenty of picking bags, pole pickers and extension pickers, and a set of pruning equipment,” said Sander-Green. “So you can access everything you need to pick apples and make apple juice, apple sauce, and dried apple rings.”
And if you don’t have any apples, Wildsight maintains a tree share board where locals can post their tree to share with others or connect with someone who has too many apples. Anyone who has excess fruit or who spots an untended tree on public property can share the information at wildsight.ca/apples or call 250 427 2535 x 2.
“We started the Apple Capture Project four years ago in Kimberley and since then we’ve grown every year,” said Sander-Green, “and we have noticed a real decrease in local apples rotting on the ground and attracting wildlife – and an increase in happy locals stocking their freezers and cupboards with local apple products.”
More information on Wildsight’s Apple Capture Project is available at wildsight.ca/apples or by dropping by the community juicing day this Saturday to see apple juicing in person.