It’s time to pick apples

Picking your fruit trees helps avoid human/wildlife conflict

Picking fruit at this time of year is essential to avoiding wildlife conflict.

Picking fruit at this time of year is essential to avoiding wildlife conflict.

For the Bulletin

Wildsight is pleased to announce that a public apple picking and pressing event will once again be a part of annual harvest festivities at Kimberley’s Open Gate Garden (located behind the Aquatic Centre)!  On Sunday, September 20th, folks looking for apples are asked to muster at 10 am at the Garden to harvest from trees on the Project’s fruit tree registry.  The group, and others with apples to process, will reconvene at the same location later in the afternoon to mill and press apples into delicious apple juice.

Dirk de Geus, Food Sustainability Coordinator for Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook is happy this unique program exists.  Through the Apple Capture Project, Wildsight provides our community with the equipment to pick, press or dehydrate apples, free of charge!  Dirk is excited about the event and would love to see many people show up and be ready to pick some apples from trees that otherwise would not be picked. The juice from these apples is local, mainly organic, and literally “fresh off the press”.  Dirk also asks that participants please bring containers if they would like to take juice home.

As Community Coordinator for WildSafeBC in Kimberley and Cranbrook, Sonja Seher is proud to support and help promote the event.  “As the wild berries finish their cycle and apples ripen in town, unpicked fruit becomes a considerable attractant for bears, and for other wildlife as well”.  Sonja adds that reports to the COS have indicated that fruit trees have even surpassed garbage as a leading wildlife attractant in recent weeks.  “So the Apple Capture Project, and public events like this, have multiple benefits: our residents realize the potential in their fruit, and help reduce the chances of a close encounter with bears in town”.

“Dehydrated, these apples will make a great, tasty, healthy snack for kids lunch boxes all winter long. Juiced, they will be full of flavour: not much tops a glass of freshly pressed apple juice!  You can’t buy happiness, but you can pick and eat local apples, that’s kind of the same thing,” says Dirk.

If you have a tree ripe for the picking, and not enough time to harvest and utilize your fruit, consider listing your tree on the Apple Capture Project’s fruit tree registry!  To register your tree, or to receive more information on the event and equipment bookings, give the Kimberley-Cranbrook branch office a call at 250-427-9325 or visit wildsight.ca/apples.

Are you a Cranbrook resident, well, you’re also in luck!  Wildsight will be partnering with the Cranbrook Food Action Committee to host a similar event at the Cranbrook Public Produce Garden on October 4th.