We start our October series on “Plant Biodiversity and Food” with our nearly-annual photograph of an apple (not sure what happened in 2007), a reference to UBC Botanical Garden’s Apple Festival. The Apple Festival is our most well-attended event of the year, and it’s a great opportunity to sample some apples one’s never tried before (previous year’s BPotD apples: Malus ‘Elstar’, Malus ‘Jonagold’, Malus ‘Melrose’, Malus ‘Golden Russet’, Malus SPA493 and Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’). I’ve just checked the booklet, and all of these are available this year for purchase or tasting, along with dozens and dozens more.
Since the booklet has great descriptions of the varieties, I’ll quote from it to start: [Malus ‘Creston’ was] released from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Apple Breeding Program in Summerland, British Columbia in 1997. In tests, it finishes in the top two for crispness, juiciness, sweetness and flavour. Its parents are ‘Golden Delicious’ and an unreleased test apple,” Malus ‘NJ 381049’; it was originally bred in 1966 at Rutgers University, though the seedling was planted in Summerland in 1969. Around the office, we sampled the apple in today’s photograph, and it was universally liked: crisp, tangy to start but developing into sweetness and definitely juicy. It would be on my list of favourites to purchase at the Apple Festival, but I doubt any will remain by the time I can purchase after my volunteering stint.