The Ripley Apple-Our Flagship Project
The Township of Huron-Kinloss opened the Ripley Rail Trail this summer and with the assistance of the BBFG, they have focused on the numerous apple trees along the trail and have called it the Ripley APPLE Rail Trail.
Subsequently, BBFG volunteers selected three wild apple trees from hundreds of trees along the existing rail trail that were
The three apples were presented at Ripley's 150th Fall Fair (one of the largest in the county) where 324 people taste-tested and voted on the apple they felt was best suited to be named the Ripley Apple. The winning tree will be reproduced by scion wood cuttings and grafting to root stock this winter by our heirloom apple experts, Bill and Lyn O'Keefe at O'Keefe Grange (just NW of Dobbinton, Ontario) Trees will be ready for the 150th Old Boys Reunion in 2015. This will be a fundraising project for the Garden as well.
Interested in ordering a Ripley Apple Tree? There will only be 100 trees produced in 2014. There will be 50 in dwarf size (B9 rootstock) and 50 in semi-dwarf (M7 rootstock)
The Bruce Botanical Food Gardens ((BBFG) has a new budding relationship with the Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (PRWIN). LITERALLY!
At the Ripley 150th Fall Fair in September of 2013, the BBFG engaged over 300 people in a taste test of three wild apple trees selected for their size, shape, colour, texture, prolific production, apparent natural resistance to disease and pests, and of course, taste. The winner was dubbed The Ripley Apple.
The PRWIN has generously sponsored the grafting procedure bringing this project literally to fruition. Lynne Taylor, president of the BBFG explains, "Without the generous support of the PRWIN, this project would not have been possible at this time. Their support means that we can have the 100 trees available in time for fall planting and ready for the 150th Old Boys Reunion which was the purpose behind producing the new variety named after the community." Scion wood, last year's growth at the tips of the branches, must be taken while the tree is in its dormancy so the cuttings have already been taken and prepared by the BBFG for the reproduction of 100 new Ripley Apple trees. The process involves the grafting of scion wood to dwarf and semi dwarf root stock (50 of each). Work will be undertaken this spring by heirloom apple experts Bill and Lyn O'Keefe at O'Keefe Grange near Dobbinton, Ontario. These are the first 100 trees and the only trees available this year. New orders will not be taken until next year at this time.
Ordering for this year's stock of the new heirloom will soon be possible through the BBFG website at bbfg.org and order forms and payments can also be submitted at the Township of Huron-Kinloss office in Ripley. Taylor expressed hope that the the BBFG's new relationship with the PRWIN is just the beginning and will continue with other exciting projects which hold common interests.
The BBFG has numerous projects under development this season including an expansion of the World Food Crops Project, a mud oven and side grille to allow for culinary events, an environmental sculpture incorporating reclaimed materials to compliment the mattress spring fencing surrounding the gardens, and the planting of over 12,000 annual plants throughout the gardens which will sport a new design over last year's layout.
Taylor concludes, "the BBFG offers small business, corporations, and other organizations the opportunity to improve their triple bottom line...economic, environmental, and social responsibilities. It means ensuring that part of the profit goes back into improving the quality of life of the community. We are working on issues of food security and sustainable agriculture. A perfect pairing."
For more information on the apple project visit bbfg.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers encouraged and appreciated.
Artist and friend of the BBFG, Andrea Zimmer HUGS the original Ripley Apple Tree!
A sample of the Ripley Apple.
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