Last week was a busy one in Toronto for lovers of food and good food projects. Not only was the Urban Ag Summit happening but Meal Exchange had their National Student Food Summit at the University of Toronto. This is an annual event for students across Ontario working on issues related to food. The Summit seeks to profile students as leaders within the food movement as well as increase students knowledge and awareness around issues of food security. Not Far From The Tree was very excited to be a part of this fantastic summit by doing what we do best, picking fruit!
We invited a pack of students from the summit out to the beautiful Spadina House orchard to pick apples for the upcoming City Cider. For this event we need to glean a wopping twenty bushels of apples to be pressed for cider and served to the hundreds of guests we expect to attend. We started their visit to Spadina House with a tour around the orchard and garden area guided by the gardener Mary Ann.
The Spadina House orchard is full of beautiful nicely pruned fruit trees of all different types. There are apricot, pear, apple and even peach trees. Mary Ann said the peach trees were particularly productive and tasty this year. I wish I had made a visit to Spadina House during peach season. Apples make up the bulk of the trees at Spadina House and some of them are over a hundred years old. The gardeners and volunteers of Spadina House have trouble keeping up with cleaning up the fallen apples, let alone picking them all. So it is a fantastic opportunity for Not Far From The Tree to go and make use of the fruit. Not to mention they are some of the most beautiful apples I’ve ever seen in Toronto.
The student participants were amongst the most enthusiastic pickers that have ever accompanied me on a pick. Within an hour and a half we had picked over six bushels of apples amounting to almost three hundred pounds! This was only a fraction of the fruit that is on the trees at Spadina House. It is amazing the amount of fruit that is produced in a small urban orchard like Spadina House. Come on out for City Cider and taste the bounty of Spadina House and Toronto. For more information on City Cider visit here.