It’s Appletober in Nova Scotia
You don’t have to travel very far in our province to pass an apple orchard. And right now, those orchards are delivering the newest crop of Nova Scotia apples. Look around your local farmers’ market or produce section at the grocery store October and you’ll see a growing selection of varieties from Nova Scotia’s orchards. In fact today, more than 20 varieties of apples are grown in the province. We’ve certainly come a long way since the Acadians planted the first apple trees here in the early 1600s.
Let’s compare Nova Scotia apples to apples for a minute. Did you know that some of the finest apples in the world come from the Annapolis Valley? It’s true. Our sunny days, cool nights and rich soil combine to produce some of the most perfect, brilliant-red apples in the world. And how important is the apple industry to our local economy you ask? We have about 5000 acres of apples in our province and around 60 commercial producers. That translates into millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs. In fact, apples are the second largest fruit crop in our province next to wild blueberries. Local apples also fuel other economic activity in our province. We produce 10% of the pure apple juice in Canada and we’re home to not one, but two pie plants that employ numerous Nova Scotians. Add in cider vinegar production and a booming hard cider industry and you get a taste for how much economic punch apples pack.
But it’s not just about economics. Apples are part of who we are. Picturesque apple orchards are part of our province’s iconic beauty. Legendary folk singer Stan Rogers wrote about “watching the apples grow” in the Gaspereau Valley. And of course, the Apple Blossom Festival draws locals and tourists from around the world every year.
Yes, we certainly love our apples in Nova Scotia. And in recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of new varieties to love. The Nova Scotia Honeycrisp is certainly the star of the local apple scene, but other new kids on the block include SweeTango, Sonya, Pazzaz, Royal Gala and Ambrosia. Apples are amazing really. What other fruit can you find that has a variety to suit pretty much any taste? A little sweeter, a little juicer, a little tangier, a little redder...one for eating, for juicing or baking or sauce…you name it. There’s a perfect Nova Scotia apple for that. Your biggest challenge might be which one to choose. No worries. We can help with that. Our friends as Scotian Gold have a handy apple variety guide and so do the good folks at the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association along with all kinds of other Nova Scotia apple information.
So how about a few other quick apple facts you might not know? Apples are actually part of the rose family. That’s why they have a rosy aroma. Apples float because they are 25% air. The McIntosh is Canada’s national apple. And here’s an interesting one…the fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia.
When you’re walking through the produce aisle, shopping for a beverage or baked treat, grab some local apples or apple products. October is the ideal time to get your pick of the crop. And when you buy Nova Scotia apples, local producers and local communities get a bigger slice of the financial pie, which helps keep our agriculture industry and economy growing strong here at home.