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           Maine Travel Guide

Sample Great Recipes And Enjoy Festivities At The Great Maine Apple Day

The Annual Great Maine Apple Day held in Late Oct is just the place to enjoy sampling recipes cooked with Maine apples. The event celebrates the History, Flavor and Tradition of Maine Apples, while honoring the importance of a diversified, perennial agriculture. Yes, there will be a pie baking contest, but if you want your dessert to literally stand up for the judges, you'll need to get out of the Macintosh rut.

"The only thing a Macintosh does is make apple sauce in a pie," says Apple Day co-organizer and state apple expert, John Bunker. "There are many apple varieties that are just good for pies and people can learn about them at Apple Day."

Learn the names of the apples that grow year after year on trees in their yard by bringing in samples and find almost 200 labeled varieties of apples on display. Who knows, you may be the owner of a rare Black Oxford, a medium-sized round apple with deep purple skin that was grown in Oxford County as early as 1790.

Maine's apple history began in the 1600's when European settlers began planting orchards. According to Bunker, they arrived with bushel baskets filled with as many as 30,000 apple seeds instead of cumbersome individual trees. Since every apple seed grows a completely genetically different fruit than its parent, the Europeans soon gave Maine tens of millions of new apple varieties.

The earliest growers used apples for making cider, vinegar for food preservation, and as food for animals. Apple Day will have workshops on cider and vinegar making along with winemaking and fruit tree pruning. Visitors will also be able to visit the Maine Heritage Orchard at the event site which has 20 of the state's native apple trees.

"I believe they represent the heritage and history of our agricultural past and show the value of local agriculture," says Bunker. "They also teach us a lot about the history of Maine towns and the people who cultivated them."

By Melody Schubert

Getting There:

The Great Maine Apple Day will be held at the Common Ground Education Center at 294 Crosby Brook Rd in Unity, Maine. To learn more about the Apple varieties, events, and more details visit http://www.mofga.org/Default.aspx?tabid=294.

Use this link to go to the Maine Travel Guide.

About The Author

Use this link to learn more about Melody Schubert.