UNITY — The annual Great Maine Apple Day is set for noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity. Admission will cost $2 for MOFGA members and $4 for nonmembers; kids get in free.

The rain or shine event is sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Fedco and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension,.

Those who want to avoid parking at the event can either take the train from Unity Station, departing at 11:15 a.m., or walk to MOFGA on its local hiking trail and learn about the fall wild food harvest along the way.

For the hike, meet at 10 a.m. at the train station. People will be driven to the trailhead on Quaker Hill Road and will walk about three miles through fields and forests to arrive at MOFGA in time for the apple-related activities. RSVPs are a must. Contact Trevanna Grenfell at 508-404-8956 or [email protected] for more information or to sign up for the trail walk, and contact Joe Feero at [email protected] with questions about taking the train.

Featured Apple Day events will include a hands-on kitchen workshop with chef Frank Giglio of Three Lily Farm on making hard apple “cyser,” a type of mead. David Smith of Sparky’s Apiaries will talk about Beginning Beekeeping. Several other workshops are planned as well.

Those who have a mystery apple that needs to be identified can talk with a dream team of Maine apple identifiers. People also can see and taste rare and heirloom apples and bring their own varieties for others to see and taste.

Haas Tobey will lead a 2 p.m. tour of the Maine Heritage Orchard. MOFGA is reclaiming an old sand and gravel pit to create a 10-acre heritage orchard to preserve and protect Maine’s traditional apples and pears, while minimizing soil runoff into Unity’s Sandy Stream.

The orchard will include more than 500 specimens from every county in the state. Varieties will date back to a time when most Mainers lived on farms and every farm had a small orchard of locally adapted selections

The orchard will be managed using innovative organic practices and will be a learning laboratory and model for backyard growers, orchardists and agricultural educators. The first 100 varieties were planted in April 2014; another 75 were planted this year; and planting will continue annually.

The event will offer food and local products for sale, including apples and apple cider, as well as apple cheddar pizza, apple hand pies, soups, cornbread, scones, ice cream, honey, homemade chocolate and maple syrup. There also will be gluten-free apple cake, chaga tea and more.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (mofga.org), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. The purpose of the association is to help farmers and gardeners grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.


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