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Down to the core: Apple Fest a big success

Jasper Local Food Society board member ryAn eSch turns the crank on the apple press while a steady stream of tart but delicious and nutritious juice flows out from it. The third annual Apple Fest was a big success. | S.Hayes photo

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

Residents brought more than a bundle of apples to be turned into juice during Jasper’s third annual Apple Fest at the community garden on Sept. 17.

The annual event offers local residents enough encouragement to pick their apple trees clean. Attendees brought their basket-filled bounties and waited their turns before their fruit went into the apple press. 

The festival was organized by the Jasper Local Food Society. Board member ryAn eSch (sic) operated the press and collected the juice into bottles while the pulp was separated out. He said that there were groups of people who came through while some dropped off their apples to donate to the organization.

“We’re happy for that too. We’ll take the juice and share it around,” he said, offering samples of the tart but nutritious juice.

He said that there was a lot of interest from people who weren’t previously aware of the event.

Apple Fest is a way of establishing food security while reducing the attractants that have been bringing the bears into the townsite over the last several weeks. 

The translation of raw fruit to juice is pretty impressive.

“Yesterday, I picked four bags of apples from a tree,” eSch said. “There are small to medium-sized crabapples. I got, I’d say, about four-and-a-half, five liters of juice out of those. It’s pretty tasty… a little bit tart but apparently that’s what makes it good for you.”

The pulp will either be turned into compost for the community garden or taken to a farm for pig feed.

For people who were interested but weren’t able to attend the event on Saturday, there is still an opportunity to make use of the press. The apple press can be hired out by contacting the society via email at jasperlocalfood@gmail.com.

“We can either set it up at the garden for you and bring your apples or bring it to your own home,” eSch said.

The society is also in discussions with the municipality to include the press in a Library of Things that people can borrow in the same manner as borrowing books from the library.

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