TIMMINS – Organizers of the Timmins Urban Park Market said Apple Fest Thursday was the perfect way to end another successful summer season.
“Despite COVID-19, I think it was a way for people to get out and be outside without having to worry about having a mask, although a lot of people did,” Brianna Grimaldi said , project assistant for Downtown Timmins. “The simple fact of being outside and being surrounded by other people and finding that atmosphere has been missed in our life.”
Marion Veens, of Sunrise Orchards and Produce in Smooth Rock Falls, comes from a family of apple growers in southern Ontario and is happy to bring a taste of the south to the north.
“We bring Apple Fest here because a lot of apples don’t grow here and it just lets people really see what kind of apples are out there and try them out,” she said.
While organizers said there are thousands of varieties of apples across the world, at the Timmins event there were more than a dozen types to sample.
“There’s sweet, there’s sour, there’s some for cooking, some for eating, whatever, there’s all kinds of apples,” Veen said. “An apple is called Jerry Gold. It’s a cross between a Russet and a Golden Delicious and my dad invented this apple. So you don’t see that very often. We have Jonah Gold and Northern Spies – those three are difficult to obtain. “
Apple Fest vendors said there are only three farms in southwestern Ontario that grow Northern Spies, and demand for them plummeted about 20 years ago. But they said interest in them was starting to pick up.
At least one customer was very happy to find them.
“I’m going to try making an apple pie like my grandma used to do because she was using Northern Spies and wanted to buy some,” said Erin Auger of Timmins, who stopped by the market to buy apples.
Apple season is a sure sign that summer is over, but downtown Timmins is looking forward to welcoming local farmers back to the winter markets.