Salt Spring Apple Festival 2
This time with Kids
Helen and I went to Salt Spring Island
to see the Apple Festival in 2007
and I proposed! 14
years and 2 kids later we decided to see the Market on Salt Spring
as a day trip from Victoria and I got the idea - we should make a
family weekend out of it and see the Apple festival again!
This the 21st year of the Apple Festival, but because of COVID it
was canceled last year. The Apple Festival was setup for
Sunday but we decided to come over Friday night and visit for the
There aren't a lot of ferries from Vancouver to the Gulf Islands
so you need to make a reservation well in advance. We booked
the 7:20 ferry on Friday night. It arrived about 20 minutes
late and we left about an hour late because a customer was abusive
to staff and had to be backed off the ferry. We had one stop
at Pender Island before we got to Salt Spring, but 10 minutes
after leaving Pender Island we turned around to drop off one more
car that was forgotten. We arrived at Salt Spring at 11pm,
nearly 2 hours late. Thankfully our AirBB was easy to find
and the door was open!
Salt Spring Farmers Market
The Saturday Market in Ganges is a no
brainer. It's nice to arrive right at 9am before it gets
busy and have first look at things. The bread stand still
had a decent stock (it sells out quickly) and we had our pick of
Helen spent some time looking at pottery
(we bought two bowls) and the kids spoke at length with a few
The August Market had more farm produce, but
there was still plenty of food to pick from.
Salt Spring has at least three major
bakeries - Embe Bakery in Ganges, Salt Spring Island Bakery on the
south Island, open on Fridays only and Francis Bakery, just North
of Ganges, available by pre-order, Saturdays only. Helen
placed a pre-order so we dropped by after the market.
Claira was feeling tired from our late
arrival the night before so she wanted a place she could sit in
the car and read her book. We decided to go Ruckle Park on
the South Island where Nara and I could go for a walk and Helen
and Claira could have a rest.
Nara had a sprained ankle from fffa few weeks before (she rolled
her ankle walking around Van Dusen Gardens) so we couldn't go far
into the park. We had visions of Arbutus trees hanging over
beaches from a painter in the Farmers Market but in our brief walk
we were unable to find the right view.
On the walk back to the car we spotted a
Brown Creeper slowing making it's way up a tree. Because of
the hill we were on, the Creeper was at least close to eye level
so we tried our hand at photographing this hard to spot bird.
The kids don't forget an ice cream spot so we stopped in at Salt
Spring Cheese Company on the way back to central island. We
arrived just before they closed so the crowds were small.
Fernwood Dock Morning Walk
One of the advantages of the fall is that
sunrise isn't at some painfully early hour of the morning. I
rolled out of bed at 6:30 and drove the roughly 20 minutes to the
Dock for a short walk around. In my mind, the Fernwood Dock
is iconic to Salt Spring - most "my trip to SS" blogs include a
photo and I have never taken a photo of it.
It was low tide when I arrived so there were birds visible from
the dock and some tide pools on the beach. I think this
destination might worth more time on a warm summer day.
Today is Apple Festival Day! The
Apple Festival has a website but there are very few details about
this years Apple Festival. When you arrive and pay for your
admission sticker they give you a brochure full of details that
helps you plan out your day. There was a small market next
to the community hall, but the hall itself didn't have the huge
display of Apples it has had on previous years.
Our first destination was Apple
Luscious Organic Orchard . I have visited this farm
in the past - it's a battleground between Blackberries and Apple
trees. The grow trees for purchase but also sold a wide
variety of baking and eat apples.
Our second destination was Pipe Rabbit Farm a new farm to
me. Unlike the warren of narrow trails at Apple Luscious,
this farm has acres of grass and a very tidy farm area. We
arrived by 11am but they were already sold out of most of their
Another repeat from previous year is the Beddis Castle. This
beautiful home has gardens all around including an apple Orchard
across the street. The streets near the castle were packed
full of car making parking a challenge.
We found an empty picnic table in the
orchard and had our lunch of found and brought items. It was
a beautful sunny day to enjoy eating outside.
Our next stop was Indolent Poultry - a retirement
home in the far South of the Island. The apple trees here
are more recently planted but use an interesting raised bed
approach and sometime quite extreme pruning.
Our last stop of the day was Salt
Spring Apple Company. Even when we drove to the
Hall in the morning to get our tickets, the road near the farm was
parked up. This company is by far the most commercial of our
destination - they are harvesting apples in quantity and making
cider and other premium food from them. They had a huge
apple display showing all of their varieties and had hundreds of
trees available for sale. I was very impressed.
Roadside Farm Stands
While you drive around the island you see
all sorts of farm stands at the side of the road. Some are
large enough to be super markets but many have only a handful of
specialized products. As a photographer, it can be hard to
get started - you probably have somewhere you want to get to and
you have already passed one so you will never have photos of them
all. Ambledale Farms farm stand broke me - it was so
beautiful with such a great variety we had to stop and I started
to take photos.
As an engineer, I like specialization. Near Pipe Rabbit
Farm, we found a farm stand that just sold basketry willow.
When I think of living in an Island, I think of things I might
miss - restaurants that close at 11pm or large art supply
stores. When you see a farm stand like this, it reminds you
at things you can gain on a small island - art supplies you will
never find in the city.
Another really cool farm stand was Mavericks Frozen Treats.
Their stand was a freezer and a place to put money. They got
our money today.
We had a ferry reservation at 7pm, but had to be at the
terminal by about 6pm to be sure to get on the boat. Many
restaurants on Salt Spring close by 5pm (except for the high end
restaurants) so we had to have a plan. We decided to try out
Al's Gourmet Falafel and Fries in Ganges. Outdoor seating,
real food with vegetables - we were happy we got there before it
closed at 5pm.
After a leisurely meal, we headed over to the Ferry terminal.
The ferry terminal had some beach access
and we had some wait. Down on the rocks I spotted stonecrop
fighting to hang on. Stonecrop are one of my favorites
families so it was hard for me to resist taking a few photos.
Tags: Salt Spring Island(18), market(4), farm(3), stand(3), apple(3), bread(2)
People: Claira(1), Nara(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2021 to 2005 > Salt Spring Apple Festival 2
Last Modified Sunday, October 17th, 2021 at 12:12:43 Edit
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