When it comes to apples, it seems provincial boundaries in Canada are no barrier to sportsmanship—even it means another province’s growers win the big prize.
B.C. apples captured several of the top spots at this year’s National Apple Competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, including the titles of Grand Champion and Reserve Champion in the New Varieties category.
But not without a little help from the Ontario Fruit Growers Association.
“I congratulate the orchardists from across Canada who participated in the National Apple Competition,” said Glen Lucas, general manager of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association.
“We express our special thanks to the Ontario Fruit Growers’ Association, who went above and beyond the call of duty to recover our lost delivery of apples, enabling B.C. to participate this year. The help that Ontario Apple Growers’ Association provided shows the camaraderie and team approach that we have in the Canadian apple industry.”
In the competition, Steve Brown of Happy Valley Harvest in Summerland, received the Canadian Horticultural Council Trophy for Grand Champion of new varieties with his Ambrosia variety entry. Denise and Richard McDonald, of McDonald Farm in Summerland was awarded Reserve Champion for the Salish entry in New Varieties.
B.C. also placed top the commercial categories of Red Delicious and Spartan, with BCFGA president Fred Steele’s entry taking the former and David Bullach of Kelowna taking the latter. Spartan is a variety developed at the Summerland Research and Development Centre in 1936.
Lucas said B.C. did especially well placing first in the New Varieties categories of Salish, Ambrosia, and Aurora Golden Gala and in Other Named New Varieties for the Nicola variety.
All the New Varieties categories B.C. placed first in featured apples that were either discovered or “bred” in B.C.
“It was great to win first place for the Salish variety, but even more important that Ontario growers placed second and third for Salish,” said Lucas. “It proves that our national apple breeding program is making discoveries for all regions of the federation.”
In addition to the wins for growers, the Summerland Research and Development Centre placed second in the novelty category Most Unusual Shaped Apple.
The BCFGA is an agriculture association with a membership of 470 commercial tree fruit growers in B.C. It will celebrates its 130th anniversary in 2018.
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