Sweet, tart or somewhere in between, the chance to taste a little fruit-related heritage is just around the corner.
The Home Orchard Society will hold its annual All About Fruit Show on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, at the Clackamas County Event Center in Canby.
All About Fruit Show attendees are exposed to roughly 500 varieties of heirloom fruit – all of which is open to tasting. Types of fruit include apples, pears, quince, grapes, kiwis, and much more. If you find a variety of fruit that you'd like to grow, you can place an order for a custom-grafted fruit tree.
"What we are trying to do is preserve the diversity of fruit that's available to us," said Tonia Lordy, manager of the HOS arboretum at Clackamas Community College. "People can taste everything there and then order a tree of that fruit. We want people to start growing different varieties of apples and pears. We want to open people's eyes to what's available outside of the supermarket."
Heirloom fruit holds a special place on the palate for those who have a passion for it.
"Heirloom fruits are those that have been grown historically but are not typically available in supermarkets," said Lordy. "A lot of the older fruits are from England that came over on the Mayflower, but never made it out to the west because of shipping and other issues. They weren't propagated out here. There will be a lot of things people have never seen or tasted before.
"We will also highlight some fruits that were discovered here in the northwest, some regional favorites people may not be aware of," Lordy added.
Local experts will present on a variety of fruit-growing topics throughout both days of the event. There's fun for the whole family with cider pressing demonstrations and door prizes. Mason bee supplies are available for sale, as well as fruit-growing publications, and many fruiting perennials.
"We have one of the largest fruit displays in North America," Lordy said of the event. "There will be hundreds of varieties there, but we don't really know how many until they bring it all in."
And again, the best part is visitors can taste it all for free.
This year's speaker series covers a variety of fruit-related topics such as fruit and nut explorations and community orchard projects happening in Idaho with Casimir Holeski, holistic orchard management and organic fruit tree care with April Jamison, water collection and water conservation with Johnathan Brandt, and the art of home-scale cider making with HOS Board Member Todd Morrill. Grab a glass of fresh apple cider and broaden those fruit horizons.
The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is $7 per person or $12 per family (HOS members pay $5 and $10, respectively). People who join the society at the door will be admitted free.
The Home Orchard Society promotes the science, culture and pleasure of growing fruit at home via educational outreach and assistance. Home Orchard Society serves the Pacific Northwest community and beyond by providing accessible resources and hosting learning events for fruit growers of all skill levels. Home Orchard Society endeavors to preserve disappearing heirloom fruit varieties, perpetuating the history, culture and heritage of the Pacific Northwest's 19th and 20th century pioneer orchards.
The Home Orchard Society has been in existence since 1975 and has had a demonstration orchard at CCC since 1986. The event usually attracts between 700-900 people each year.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.