Last weekend, on the island, there was an apple cider festival.
Of course, there was cider, pressed from island apples by island folks, by the glass, the jug, and the barrel. Sweet and mellow, with just a hint of tartness — the cider spoke of autumn.
But the main event, in tents off the Saturday farmers’ market, was the apple demonstration.
70 different kinds of apples. 70! Heirlooms, common varieties, and even apples so new they didn’t have names yet.
We were a bit daunted. How would we taste them all?
Each apple had a name, a type, and a sharp knife by it, in case you wanted to taste it.
I love that they carved the name of this one into the apple.
This Pristine apple appears in early August, far before most other apples.
All the apples were sliced and offered by members of the island’s fruit club. A fruit club! They gather together to discuss pruning and grafting, and then have potlucks afterwards.
We’re going to join soon.
This was one of my favorites.
I had never seen a Holstein in a market before. It’s grown through grafting, apparently. But it’s wonderful. It tastes like finished cider, instead of the raw fruit.
I love that sometimes the best apples have worm holes in them. These probably wouldn’t sell in the grocery store.
And this apple, wonderful for dessert on its own, is so new that it doesn’t have a name yet. Dr. Bob Norton, who runs the island fruit club, created them his orchards.
I wish we could have stayed for hours and sampled another 20 kinds of apples.
Just off the apple tents was a space for the toddlers. And this band.
This is such an island band.
And parading through it all, a man and his chicken.
What, you’ve never seen a man riding a giant chicken?
(Actually, this is one of the performers in UMO, this wacko incredibly talented performance art group that has been on the island for years. Stefan built this chicken costume himself.)
This is where we live.